US senators defend push to offer Biden new instruments to ban TikTok


By David Shepardson

(Reuters) – Two U.S. senators proposing to offer the Biden administration new powers to ban Chinese language-owned quick video app TikTok on Thursday rejected criticism arguing it’s one of the simplest ways to deal with safety considerations a couple of broad vary of foreign-owned apps.

Senators Mark Warner, a Democrat and John Thune, a Republican, final month proposed the Limit Act that might grant the Commerce Division new authority to overview, block, and tackle a variety of transactions involving overseas data and communications expertise that pose nationwide safety dangers.

“Our invoice is designed to modernize the president’s worldwide financial authorities for the digital period, put vital guardrails on presidential authority, give Congress the authority to overturn sure selections made by the president, and set up a risk-based course of to take care of foreign-adversary expertise,” Warner and Thune mentioned in a Wall Road Journal essay.

The White Home and 26 senators help the Limit Act that might apply to overseas applied sciences from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. Critics say the invoice is overbroad and hurts civil liberties of People together with the greater than 150 million U.S. TikTok customers.

The Republican Home Monetary Providers Committee tweeted final week that the Limit Act would make the Commerce Division “a dictator over commerce, sanctions, funding, cryptocurrency, and extra.”

The senators denied focusing on particular person customers or individuals utilizing a digital non-public community to entry TikTok.

“An intense, well-funded lobbying marketing campaign from the Chinese language firm has misrepresented our invoice in dangerous religion,” they wrote. “It isn’t laborious to determine why: There’s cash to be made by permitting TikTok to proceed its present operations within the U.S. and never a lot to be made by defending Americans from national-security threats.”

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared earlier than Congress final month and confronted powerful questions on nationwide safety considerations over the ByteDance-owned app.

TikTok, which didn’t instantly remark Thursday, says it has spent greater than $1.5 billion on rigorous information safety efforts and rejects spying allegations.

Final week, Republican Senator Rand Paul blocked a bid to fast-track a separate invoice to ban TikTok launched by Senator Josh Hawley, who mentioned the Limit Act “doesn’t ban TikTok. It offers the president an entire bunch of recent authority.”

The Biden administration has demanded TikTok’s Chinese language homeowners divest their stakes or face a U.S. ban. Then President Donald Trump’s makes an attempt in 2020 to ban TikTok have been blocked by U.S. courts.

Democratic Consultant Cori Bush mentioned final week “Congress ought to move complete information privateness laws, reasonably than goal one firm for industry-wide considerations.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Enhancing by Marguerita Choy)

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