U.S. Senators Pushing to Tighten Control on TikTok

U.S. Senators Democrat Warner and Republican Thune are working towards introducing a legislation this week aimed at authorizing the government to ban or prohibit foreign technology products such as TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance. Warner, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said TikTok would be “one of the potentials” for review under the bill. The bill comes at a time when TikTok has come under intensifying pressure over user data privacy concerns, which the Western nations worry could end up in the hands of the Chinese government.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee voted on Wednesday to give Biden the power to ban TikTok, in what would be the most far-reaching U.S. restriction on any social media app.

The White House last week gave government agencies 30 days to ensure that TikTok is not on any federal devices and systems. More than 30 U.S. states, Canada and European Union policy institutions have also banned TikTok from being loaded onto state-owned devices.

Warner said, explaining his move, that he was concerned that TikTok can be used as a propaganda tool based on the types of videos it sends to users.

He said the bill he plans to introduce “would say, in terms of foreign technology coming into America, we’ve got to have a systematic approach to make sure we can ban or prohibit it when necessary.”

He said he planned to introduce the legislation this week.

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