Gallagher, Rubio Look to Ban TikTok

December 13, 2022

Rep. Mike Gallagher, alongside Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), introduced bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the United States. The Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act (ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act) would protect Americans by blocking and prohibiting all transactions from TikTok and any other social media company in, or under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern.

TikTokís Chinese parent company, ByteDance, is required by Chinese law to make the appís data available to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The FBI Director, FCC Commissioners, and cybersecurity experts have warned about the risk of TikTok being used to spy on Americans.

Rep. Gallagher and Senator Rubio announced the legislation in a Washington Post op-ed last month, writing that ďCongress needs to act against the TikTok threat before itís too late.Ē

ďTikTok is digital fentanyl thatís addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news. Itís also an increasingly powerful media company thatís owned by ByteDance, which ultimately reports to the Chinese Communist Party Ė Americaís foremost adversary," said Rep. Gallagher. "Allowing the app to continue to operate in the U.S. would be like allowing the U.S.S.R. to buy up the New York Times, Washington Post, and major broadcast networks during the Cold War. No country with even a passing interest in its own security would allow this to happen, which is why itís time to ban TikTok and any other CCP-controlled app before itís too late.Ē

ďThe federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok. This isnít about creative videos ó this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know itís used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the Peopleís Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good," said Senator Rubio.

ďAt a time when the Chinese Communist Party and our other adversaries abroad are seeking any advantage they can find against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance, it is imperative that we do not allow hostile powers to potentially control social media networks that could be easily weaponized against us. The bipartisan ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act is a strong step in protecting our nation from the nefarious digital surveillance and influence operations of totalitarian regimes. Recent revelations surrounding the depth of TikTokís ties to the CCP highlight the urgency of protecting Americans from these risks before itís too late,"said Rep. Krishnamoorthi.

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