US Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Urging ByteDance to Divest TikTok Amid Security Concerns

US Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Urging ByteDance to Divest TikTok Amid Security Concerns

Key Points:

  • U.S. lawmakers introduce bipartisan legislation compelling ByteDance to divest TikTok within six months, addressing national security concerns.
  • ByteDance would have 165 days to comply or face potential bans. The legislation restricts TikTok’s availability within the U.S. app ecosystem.
  • TikTok argues that the bill infringes on First Amendment rights and negatively impacts millions of American users.
  • The White House National Security Council supports the legislation, emphasizing its importance in addressing potential risks from foreign-owned services.

In a bipartisan move, a group of U.S. lawmakers has introduced legislation compelling ByteDance, the Chinese owner of the popular short video app TikTok, to divest the platform within six months or potentially face a ban in the United States. This legislative effort aims to address national security concerns associated with TikTok’s Chinese ownership.

The bill was the first significant legislative action in nearly a year. The proposed legislation is expected to undergo an initial vote on Thursday. Under this bill, ByteDance would have 165 days to divest TikTok, a platform utilized by over 170 million Americans. Failure to comply could make it unlawful for major app stores, including Apple and Google, to offer TikTok or provide web hosting services to ByteDance-controlled apps.

The legislation does not authorize enforcement against individual users of the affected app. Instead, it focuses on imposing restrictions on the availability and support of TikTok in the U.S. app ecosystem. Representative Mike Gallagher emphasized the national security aspect, stating, “America’s foremost adversary has no business controlling a dominant media platform in the United States.”

TikTok swiftly responded, characterizing the bill as an outright ban that would infringe on the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans and hinder small businesses relying on the platform for growth and job creation. The company argued against the bill’s constitutionality and highlighted its potential negative impact on users.

The White House National Security Council supported the legislation, calling it “an important and welcome step.” The Biden administration pledged to collaborate with Congress to strengthen the legislation and ensure its robust legal standing.

TikTok has always maintained that it does not share U.S. user data with the Chinese government. The proposed legislation represents an additional attempt to address perceived risks posed by tech services operating in the United States with ties to foreign entities.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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