US Senate passes TikTok divestment-or-ban bill

Cyber1Defense Communication Ltd > Blog > Uncategorized > US Senate passes TikTok divestment-or-ban bill
  • Posted by: Evans Asare
US Senate passes TikTok divestment-or-ban bill

US Senate passes TikTok divestment-or-ban bill.

The US Senate has voted in favor of a bill that would ban TikTok in the United States if ByteDance, the Chinese tech firm that owns the app, does not divest it over the next 9 to 12 months. The bill’s passage follows ongoing concerns among US lawmakers regarding China’s potential access to Americans’ data through TikTok.

Legislative Process and Passage

The US House of Representatives passed the bill on Saturday, and President Joe Biden has indicated he will sign it into law on Wednesday. The Senate vote, which was 79-18 in favor, demonstrates broad bipartisan support for addressing national security concerns related to TikTok’s Chinese ownership.

Concerns from China and the TikTok Response

The Chinese foreign ministry criticized the legislation, citing a lack of evidence that TikTok poses a national security threat. TikTok has consistently stated that it does not share user data with the Chinese government and has announced plans to challenge the bill on First Amendment grounds.

If ByteDance fails to divest, the bill would give the Biden administration the authority to ban TikTok in the United States. This could impact the operations of app stores like Apple’s and Google’s, as they would not be permitted to host or offer TikTok. Legal experts suggest that the bill provides a stronger legal footing compared to previous efforts to ban the app.

TikTok users and the American Civil Liberties Union have voiced concerns about the bill’s impact on free speech. The ACLU warned that banning a foreign-owned platform could set a dangerous precedent for excessive government control over social media. The American Civil Liberties Union and TikTok are expected to challenge the bill’s legality in court.

Broader Political Context

The legislation has sparked debate over the balance between national security and freedom of expression. While some lawmakers support the bill as a necessary measure to protect national security, others warn that it could infringe on First Amendment rights and set a concerning precedent for censorship.

Outlook and Next Steps

ByteDance has 270 days to divest TikTok’s US operations, with the possibility of a three-month extension if progress is make. The outcome of this legislation could have significant implications for US-China relations and the regulation of foreign-owned apps in the United States.

Author: Evans Asare

Leave a Reply