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Why the House Voted to Ban TikTok and What Could Come Next

Why the House Voted to Ban TikTok and What Could Come Next

 In a decisive move, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 352-65 in favour of a bipartisan bill that could have far-reaching implications for the popular social media platform, TikTok. 

The bill, which requires ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) to either sell the app or face a ban on all U.S. devices, has raised concerns about national security and user privacy.

The Rationale Behind the Ban

The House’s decision stems from mounting worries about TikTok’s ownership structure. ByteDance, a China-based company, has faced scrutiny over its ties to the Chinese government.

 Lawmakers fear that this connection poses a significant risk to U.S. national security. The bill aims to address these concerns by forcing a separation between ByteDance and TikTok.

National Security Concerns

Classified and unclassified national security assessments have highlighted TikTok’s potential threats. 

The app has been used to target journalists and interfere in elections. While there’s no public evidence of the Chinese Communist Party using TikTok for surveillance or propaganda, experts acknowledge the theoretical possibility. 

FBI Director Christopher Wray has expressed concerns about the app’s potential to control software on millions of devices.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where its fate remains uncertain. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top two lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, have praised the House’s action and called for Senate consideration.

However, the timeline for Senate deliberations remains unclear. Some senators advocate for hearings on the legislation before moving forward.

TikTok Lobbying Campaign

TikTok launched a lobbying campaign, urging users to contact their members of Congress. 

The company’s push notifications, using location information, connected users directly to their representatives. 

Rep. Gallagher argues that this campaign underscores the necessity of the bill.

In the coming days, the Senate will grapple with the TikTok dilemma. As the debate unfolds, the fate of this influential app hangs in the balance.


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