Bipartisan group of senators unveil bill making it easier to ban TikTok

RESTRICT Act would give President Biden more power to get rid of the social media app.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:45 AM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A bipartisan group of senators laid out the roadmap Tuesday which could lead to what is effectively a ban on TikTok and other social media apps - especially those with roots in China.

“Our beef here is with the communist party of China,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

Warner and his co-sponsor, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) say it is time to get rid of technology from hostile foreign countries like China that are using apps like TikTok to spy on millions of Americans.

“The traditional definition of National Security, who’s got the most tanks guns, planes and ships, which clearly is still critically important. As we see the battle between Ukraine and Russia play out, but increasingly is also who wins the struggle for technology dominance,” said Warner who is also Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

That is why the RESTRICT Act is being introduced. The bill would give the Department of Commerce the ability to strengthen regulations and penalties that could include a ban of tech companies like TikTok that are seen as a national security threat from China and other places.

“We have some, a symbiotic relationship with China when it comes to our two economies but that has to be conducted in an open, transparent way in which we have an opportunity to determine whether or not they are not playing by the rules,” said Thune who is ranking member of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband.

A TikTok spokesperson says the bill would violate the First Amendment and would be “a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide.”

The White House says it supports the RESTRICT Act after President Biden signed a bill banning the app on government devices last year. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says, “This will help us address the threats we face today, and also prevent such risks from arising in the future.”