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The US House passes the TikTok bill – is a ban threatened?

Vaseline 3 months ago

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Legislation has been passed that could ban TikTok unless the platform’s China-based owner sells its stake within a year.
The U.S. House of Representatives, the lower house of Congress, has passed a bill that could potentially lead to the nationwide ban on popular social media platform TikTok, citing unfounded national security concerns over its Chinese ownership. It demands that TikTok withdraw from its Chinese parent company ByteDance otherwise it will be shut out of the US market. The bill is expected to go to the Senate for a vote next week. Elon Musk, the owner of social media platform X, expressed his opposition to the possible ban in a post on Friday. Musk wrote in the post that the ban violates freedom of speech and expression. “In my opinion, TikTok should not be banned in the US, even though such a ban could benefit the X platform,” the billionaire posted. TikTok has repeatedly denied that it ever shared US user data with Chinese authorities and There are other concerns about the bill that it could give the US president the power to designate any request as a threat to national security simply by to be regarded as hostile. TikTok is not expected to disappear anytime soon. House Republicans’ decision to include TikTok as part of a larger foreign aid package accelerated the ban after an earlier version stalled in the Senate. A standalone bill with a shorter sales deadline of six months passed the House of Representatives in March by an overwhelming vote, as both Democrats and Republicans raised national security concerns about ByteDance. The amended measure, passed by a vote of 360 to 58, now goes to the House. Senate following negotiations that extended the sales timeline to nine months, with a possible three additional months if a sale is underway. Legal challenges could extend that timeline even further. ByteDance has indicated it will likely go to court to try to block the law if it passes, arguing it would deprive the app’s millions of users of their First Amendment rights. TikTok has lobbied hard against the legislation, pressuring the app’s 170 million U.S. users to convene Congress and voice opposition. But the ferocity of the pushback angered lawmakers on Capitol Hill, where there are widespread concerns about Chinese threats to the U.S. and few members use the platform itself. “We will not stop fighting and advocating for you,” said TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. in a video posted to the platform last month. “We will continue to do everything we can, including exercising our legal rights, to protect this incredible platform we built with you.” Concerns About U.S. Data The bill’s rapid path through Congress is extraordinary because it focuses on one company and because Congress has taken a hands-off approach to technology regulation for decades. Lawmakers have failed to take action despite efforts to, among other things, protect children online, ensure user privacy and make companies more accountable for content posted on their platforms. Members of both parties, along with intelligence officials, are concerned that Chinese authorities could force ByteDance to hand over U.S. user data or direct the company to suppress or boost TikTok content favorable to its interests. The U.S. government has not publicly provided evidence showing that TikTok shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government or tinkered with the company’s popular algorithm, which influences what Americans see. The company has good reason to believe a legal challenge could be successful, having seen some success in previous legal battles over its US operations. In November, a federal judge blocked a Montana law that would have banned the use of TikTok across the state after the company and five content creators who use the platform filed a lawsuit.