Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday announced bipartisan legislation to ban China’s popular social media app TikTok. The Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act (ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act) would protect Americans by blocking and prohibiting all transactions from any social media company in, or under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern.
A companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives was sponsored by Republican congressman Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, according to a press release by Rubio.
“TikTok is digital fentanyl that’s addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news. It’s also an increasingly powerful media company that’s owned by ByteDance, which ultimately reports to the Chinese Communist Party – America’s foremost adversary,” Gallagher stated.
“The bipartisan ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act is a strong step in protecting our nation from the nefarious digital surveillance and influence operations of totalitarian regimes, said Krishnamoorthi. “Recent revelations surrounding the depth of TikTok’s ties to the CCP highlight the urgency of protecting Americans from these risks before it’s too late.”
TikTok is a social media app that allows people to post short videos. The app has been criticized for its lack of privacy and security features. In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of states who have passed legislation prohibiting the use of TikTok. These states are following the lead of New York, which was the first state to pass a law banning the app.
Alabama and Utah on Monday joined other U.S. states prohibiting the use of TikTok on state government devices and computer networks due to national security concerns.
“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok. This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day,” stated Rubio.