- A new bill from a bipartisan group of lawmakers would ban TikTok in the United States
- The bill comes after years of broad concern across the Trump and Biden administrations about potential Chinese government influence on the company
- TikTok has insisted US user data is safely stored outside of China, which it says should keep it out of reach of government officials
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Three US lawmakers have introduced new legislation that aims to ban TikTok from operating in the United States.
The new bill by Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a bipartisan pair of congressmen in the House reflects the latest escalation by US policymakers against the Chinese-owned short-form video app.
According to CNN, TikTok has faced doubts about its ability to safeguard US user data from the Chinese government.
The proposed legislation would block and prohibit all transactions in the United States by social media companies with at least one million monthly users that are based in or under the substantial influence of, countries that are considered foreign adversaries, including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela.
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The bill specifically names TikTok and its parent, ByteDance, as social media companies for the purposes of the legislation.
Rubio and one of the House sponsors of the bill, Wisconsin Republican Rep Mike Gallagher, had indicated their intention to introduce the bill in a Washington Post op-ed last month.
The legislation comes as a wave of states led by Republican governors have introduced state-level restrictions on the use of TikTok on government-owned devices.
TikTok hit by US lawsuits over child safety
On Wednesday, December 7, TikTok was hit Wednesday with a pair of lawsuits from the US state of Indiana, which accused it of making false claims about the Chinese-owned app's safety for children.
The legal salvo came as problems were mounting for TikTok in the United States, with multiple accusations that the extremely popular app is a national security threat and a conduit for spying by China.
"The TikTok app is a malicious and menacing threat unleashed on unsuspecting Indiana consumers by a Chinese company that knows full well the harms it inflicts on users," said Attorney General Todd Rokita in a statement.
In a statement, a TikTok spokesperson did not comment specifically on the case but said "the safety, privacy and security of our community is our top priority."
Whistleblower says Nigeria lied over negotiations with Twitter concerning ban
A Whistleblower has said that Nigeria lied over its claims on January 2022 that it lifted the six month-long ban on Twitter in Nigeria because it reached an agreement with the microblogging site.
The federal government said that the social media giant agreed to meet all six of its conditions, a claim a former Twitter employee said is false.
Whistleblower 'bursts' FG over negotiations
Pieter ‘Mudge’ Zatko disclosed this to the US Federal Trade Commission under the Whistleblower Aid.