TikTok ban in US: President Biden signs TikTok ‘ban’ bill into law

By Stermy 5 Min Read

President Joe Biden signed a bill Wednesday forcing TikTok to find a new owner within a year or face a ban — setting the course for what’s likely to be a drawn-out legal battle with potential political costs for the president.

His endorsement capped a nearly four-year effort spanning two administrations to cut off China’s access to the video app used by 170 million Americans.

The Senate voted Tuesday to pass the TikTok bill as part of a broader foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

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A coming battle: “This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court,” TikTok said in a statement after the president signed the bill. The company claims it violates the First Amendment rights of its users.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said in a video on the app, “Rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere. We are confident and will keep fighting for your rights in the courts.

He said TikTok would remain available in the U.S. during the legal challenge.

Tik Tok has argued it is not a security threat. It says its parent company is not controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Chew said in January that TiKTok is investing $2 billion in trust and safety and stores all U.S.-based data in cloud servers owned by Oracle.

Courts have blocked previous efforts to ban TikTok in the U.S., including Trump’s 2020 executive order to block the app.

The Biden administration and Congress say the bill is constitutionally sound because of threats from China. They say the Beijing government can demand U.S. user data from ByteDance under Chinese national security law, and that China pushes propaganda via the app’s algorithms. In March, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a report that China used TikTok to influence the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.

How we got here: Biden’s signature marked a dramatic turn in fortunes for a video app so popular that the commander in chief opened an account in February, with a campaign adviser telling POLITICO that it would use “every tool we have to reach young voters where they are.”

That public coup for TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, was short-lived.

In March, the House voted to force its sale within six months. At the time, a National Security Council spokesperson said Biden would sign the bill to address “risks to Americans’ sensitive data and our broader national security.”

As the Senate stalled, lawmakers agreed to a new version of the bill that extended the sale deadline to a year, which was enough to sway power brokers like Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

Young voters: Biden’s endorsement of the bill to force the sale of the app comes as his campaign appears to be losing ground with younger voters.

Aidan Kohn-Murphy, 20, who founded a nonprofit called “TikTok for Biden” in 2020, said a bill that could ban the app would be a “total unforced error.” Kohn-Murphy previously told POLITICO his group had changed its name to “Gen Z for Change” and had not yet endorsed the president for reelection.

A Biden adviser told POLITICO the campaign would remain on TikTok even after the president signed the law, and uses “enhanced security measures” to mitigate the app’s risks.

The adviser rejected the idea that young people would abandon Biden because he supported forcing the sale or ban of TikTok. The deadline for the sale of the app will fall after the November vote.

“Reducing young people’s vote down to the use of a social media app is unserious, inaccurate and insulting,” the adviser said. “Election after election, young people continue to show us they understand the stakes of this moment.”

Former President Donald Trump, who tried to ban TikTok in 2020 before he defended the company publicly last month, blasted Biden on Monday. “Just so everyone knows, especially the young people, Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok,” he wrote on his platform Truth Social.

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Source: Politico

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By Stermy
Stermy is one Crazy fan of the word "Internet". Always online to stay informed and keep others updated. #townflex