The United States Congress has presented in these hours the RESTRICT Act, a new bill banning the use of TikTok nationwide. The app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is believed to be a national security risk to the United States.
It is a tug of war that has been keeping the level of discussion high in the USA for some months now.
TikTok banned for everyone in the US? What does the bill provide?
The bipartisan bill, led by the Senator Mark Warnerwould authorize the secretary of commerce to place a ban on foreign technologies and companies in the United States if they pose a threat to national security. While TikTok isn’t explicitly named in the text of the bill, the reference is pretty blatant. More generally, the measure concerns companies with offices in countries considered to be adversaries. These include China itself as well as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela.
“Today, the threat everyone is talking about is TikTok, and how the app could allow the Communist Party of China access to information, or facilitate the spread of malicious influence campaigns in the United States. But before TikTok, it was Huawei and ZTE that threatened our national communications networks,” Mark Warner said on Tuesday (via The Verge). “We need a proactive approach to potentially dangerous technologies before they take hold in America.”
The RESTRICT Act would allow US authorities to prevent the spread of apps deemed dangerous on digital stores. These obviously include the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
For its part, TikTok has repeatedly rejected the accusations made by the US administration, according to which the app would store the data of American users to make them available to the Chinese government. TikTok CEO, Shou Zi Chewwas summoned to report to the US Congress later this month.