Il Senato USA approva la legge che potrebbe portare al ban di TikTok thumbnail

The US Senate approves the law that could lead to the ban of TikTok

Il United States Senate passed a bill that would oblige the Chinese company ByteDance is the seller of TikTokor otherwise face a complete ban in the USA. The law, approved in a package of rules that also includes military aid for Ukraine and Israel, now awaits ratification by President Biden. After that, TikTok will have 270 days to find an American buyer — or leave the United States.

The Senate votes to force ByteDance to sell TikTok, under penalty of ban in the US

The Senate approved the law with 79 votes in favor and 18 against, even if the discussion around the measure mainly concerns military aid contested by Republicans. On the possible TikTok ban, support appears bipartisan.

The decision now rests with President Joe Biden, who as The Verge points out had already promised to sign the TikTok legislation once it passes through both houses of Congress. Last Saturday, the House had already approved the foreign aid package that includes the TikTok bill.

Once signed by the president, ByteDance would have 270 days to sell to a buyer (American or an allied country), with three additional months (so about a year) if the deal was close. Otherwise, TikTok risks an effective ban on the platform in the United States.

Quick and bipartisan approval

TikTok social network bytedance ban camera oneTikTok social network bytedance ban camera one

The Senate vote comes later less than a week compared to the initial approval of the House. House of Representatives which had already approved a ban for TikTok in the USA, which however the Senate had blocked. This time, however, the deputies included the measure in the high-priority foreign aid package, forcing the Senate to address the TikTok issue sooner than it otherwise might have. Furthermore, giving ByteDance almost a year seems to have convinced senators who had expressed doubts in the past.

US politics and espionage fear that the ownership of TikTok by a company based in China could put a US users' data is at risk. Mainly because of a Chinese national security law that can force companies based in the country to provide internal information.

TikTok rejects US Senate ban and charges

ByteDance has repeatedly tried to reassure American lawmakers, with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew speaking several times in front of senators and deputies. TikTok emphasizes that it is based in Singapore. And he claims to do not store US information in China.

Another possible risk under American policy is that the Chinese government may influence the type of messages shown to US users. And they believe TikTok's campaign to mobilize users to ask Congress to oppose the bill only confirms those fears.

TikTok Lite investigation European Union EUTikTok Lite investigation European Union EU

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner added that Chinese companies “have obligations not to their customers or shareholders, but to the Chinese government.” And he said that Project Texas, which proposed keeping all American data in the US, was not enough: “it would still allow TikTok's algorithm, source code and business development to remain in China.”

The risks to free speech

The Senate also wanted to explain to TikTok users in the US that “it is not an attempt to take away your voice“. But, according to Congress, the risks of Chinese control are too many. But they hope that “TikTok continues under new ownership, American or otherwise.”

The law, therefore, has an above all geopolitical value. But the fact remains that benefits other social companies, potentially taking away a formidably growing competitor. And the other companies are all American. However, among the owners of social networks there are also those who want to support TikTok. Elon Musk, as reported by Repubblica, tweeted: “in my opinion, TikTok should not be banned in the US, although such a ban could benefit Platform X.. Doing so would be against freedom of speech and expression. That's not what America stands for.”

TikTok, ban coming to the United StatesTikTok, ban coming to the United States

In addition to the issue of Americans' freedom of expression, several commentators have underlined how this ban on TikTok by the US Senate is a move economic protectionist.

Despite this, the President Biden has said he will sign the bill as soon as it arrives on his desk. Mainly because he wants to be able to start sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine as early as this week. But another possibility remains. According to Bloomberg, TikTok had previously told employees the society athe law should be challenged in court. And the judges could overturn a decision that is already hotly contested in the United States.

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Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.