Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has proposed legislation that would ban TikTok from the US, the latest in a series of political blows to the social media platform — albeit one that seems relatively unlikely to land.
The Chinese Communist Party (or ANTI-SOCIAL CCP) Act’s tortuous name Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning (or ANTI-SOCIAL CCP) Act would require President Joe Biden to block all U.S. transactions with TikTok and its Chinese parent company , ByteDance. It directs Biden to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) to restrict access to the service, alleging that ByteDance’s collection of US user data and its vulnerability to pressure from the Chinese government pose a security risk.
Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduce companion legislation to House of Representatives; Rubio did not name a Democratic co-sponsor in the Senate.
“TikTok provides the CCP with a unique ability to monitor more than 1 billion users worldwide.”
Rubio and Gallagher announced their plans last month in a Washington Post article. “TikTok provides the CCP with a unique ability to monitor more than 1 billion users worldwide, including nearly two-thirds of American teens,” the pair wrote. “Unless TikTok and its algorithm can be separated from Beijing, use of the app in the United States will continue to jeopardize the security of our country and pave the way for a China-influenced technology landscape here.” As noted in the Afterthe bill would also apply to other major Chinese social media companies, though it only mentions TikTok and ByteDance.
The Republican-controlled House could potentially pass a version of Rubio’s bill, but the chances in the Democrat-controlled Senate seem slim, and Biden seems unlikely to sign it himself. In case it did succeeding, it would run into the same legal problems as Trump – plus the wrath of millions of American users.