US House Passes Bill To Ban Tiktok Over Ties With China, Senate Nod Next. See Details Here

(MENAFN- Live Mint) "US Tiktok Ban: The United States House of Representatives voted 360 to 58 in favour of the revised divest-or-ban legislation on Tiktok on April 20 passed by the US Senate and then signed by President Joe Biden, this bill marks a potential historical milestone as the first instance of the US government enacting a law to shut down an entire social media platform Senate is slated to cast its vote on the bill in the upcoming week, and Biden has previously said that if passed he will sign the legislation into law.'Protecting Americans Threats' Alleges HouseThe bill's author and Texas Republican representative Michael McCaul told reporters the move will shield Americans, particularly children, from the \"malign influence of Chinese propaganda\", the Guardian reported.“This bill protects Americans and especially America's children from the malign influence of Chinese propaganda on the app TikTok. This app is a spy balloon in Americans' phones,” Michael McCaul said..\"The bill's passage comes after a call from Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell in March to revise certain provisions. The updated legislation extends the divestment period for TikTok's parent company ByteDance from six months to a year.“Extending the divestment period is necessary to ensure there is enough time for a new buyer to get a deal done. I support this updated legislation,\" Cantwell said's US Legal Executive Likely Facing AxeAmid the bill debacle, TikTok is likely to remove a key executive tasked with addressing US government apprehensions regarding its ties to China, Bloomberg reported citing sources Andersen, the US-based general counsel for TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance, has been engaged in extensive discussions with US authorities over several years to demonstrate the app's measures to safeguard American users' data and prevent undue influence from China. However, these efforts have fallen short as evidenced by the latest revised bill being passed to insiders, the company is making arrangements for Andersen to step down from his current position. One source indicated that he will remain associated with the company response to inquiries, Andersen directed queries to the company's communication team. TikTok spokesperson Alex Haurek dismissed claims of Andersen's impending removal, stating, \"That is 100% false.\"Concerns and ResponsesCritics have raised concerns over TikTok's potential to collect user data and censor content critical of the Chinese government. However, TikTok has vehemently denied these allegations, asserting its independence and commitment to user privacy social media platform expressed disappointment with the bill and its potential implications, highlighting its substantial contribution to the US economy. In a statement following the bill's passage, Tiktok it criticised the infringement on free speech rights.“It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans,” NPR reported from the industry have also expressed concern, with Meredith Whittaker, president of US-based encrypted messaging service Signal, condemning the bill and its potential implications for data privacy and surveillance powers.\"This is fucked. Please take a moment to consider what's happening here. Abuse of surveillance powers is about to be enshrined in US law at the same time that a bill to force TikTok to sell to US buyers or be banned is moving forward, justified in part via 'data privacy.',\" Whittaker said on X (formerly known as Twitter).Concerns have been voiced about TikTok's Chinese parent collecting US user data and censoring content critical to the Chinese government. In March, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines warned the House that China could use Tiktok to influence the 2024 presidential elections in November.\"TikTok is an independent platform, with its own leadership team, including a CEO based in Singapore, a COO based in the US and a global head of trust and safety based in Ireland,\" was the company's response, Guardian reported a congressional hearing earlier this year, TikTok's Singaporean CEO Shou Zi Chew faced five-hour-long questioning on various issues, including the platform's ties to China and its impact on societal issues such as teenage mental health and drugs.(With inputs from Bloomberg)


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