Krishnamoorthi co-sponsoring plan to ban TikTok in US

Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 2:24 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - An Illinois congressman is co-sponsoring a bipartisan plan to ban the mobile app TikTok in the United States.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi said Tuesday that the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act can protect Americans by blocking and prohibiting transactions from TikTok and other social media companies in or under the influence of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela.

Sponsors explained that TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, is required to make the app’s data available to the Chinese Communist Party. Krishnamoorthi said it is imperative that the United States doesn’t allow hostile powers to potentially control social media networks that could be easily weaponized against the country.

“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,” Krishnamoorthi said. “Recent revelations surrounding the depth of TikTok’s ties to the CCP highlight the urgency of protecting Americans from these risks before it’s too late.”

The Democratic lawmaker from the 8th Congressional District in the Chicago suburbs is co-sponsoring the plan with Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). They argue that the Chinese Communist Party is seeking any advantage they can find against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance.

“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,” Gallagher said. “No country with even a passing interest in its own security would allow this to happen, which is why it’s time to ban TikTok and any other CCP-controlled app before it’s too late.”

Krishnamoorthi said Congress must take action to protect Americans’ data, and the country’s national security, from foreign adversaries leveraging social media. Meanwhile, Rubio stated Tuesday that the federal government has yet to take meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok.

“This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections,” Rubio said. “We know it answers to the People’s 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.”

The legislation has not been assigned to a committee at this time.

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