Two Republican legislators presented this Wednesday in Congress a Bill that seeks to ban the TikTok application on devices in the United States.
Congressmen Josh Hawlye of the Senate and Ken Buck of the House of Representatives, who are leading the bill, They accuse the Chinese application of being a “threat to the national security” of the US.
“TikTk not only is directly associated with the Chinese Communist Partybut has been used for spy on americans”, Wrote legislator Buck on his Twitter account.
The bill directs the executive to Block and prohibit transactions by US entities or individuals with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.
In turn, it asks the director of National Intelligence to deliver a report to Congress on activities that lawmakers consider to be a “national threat” by TikTok, including allegedly allowing Chinese government access to American data, according to the portal. news The Hill.
TikTok has denied accusations of this type in the past, ensuring that it does not censor content or give the Chinese government access to its data.
Last December, the US Congress passed a law that prohibits the use of the popular video application on official federal government devices.
Several states, such as Texas, Alabama, Virginia or Tennessee, have already done the same at the state level, while territories such as Indiana have filed lawsuits against ByteDance for allegedly allowing Chinese espionage.
In addition, dozens of public universities have also banned the app in recent weeks on their official systems or their WiFi networks, or issued recommendations to their students to stop using it.
In 2019, and as part of his strategy to increase pressure on China, the then US president, Donald Trump, gave TikTok an ultimatum to transfer its operations to US companies if he did not want to be banned in the country, something that However, it did not end up happening.
TikTok has more than 100 million users in the United States and in a short time it has become one of the most popular social networks in the world, especially among teenagers.
WHAT WORRIES ABOUT TIKTOK?
Both the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission have warned that user data of TikTok could be shared by its owner, ByteDance Ltd., with China’s authoritarian government. US authorities are also concerned that the Chinese government could use TikTok to spread pro-China messages or misinformation.
“If we have national security concernssaid FBI Director Christopher Wray at a Homeland Security Committee hearing in November. “They include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control the data collection from millions of users”.
Fears were fanned last year by news that a China-based team improperly accessed data from American TikTok users, including two journalists, as part of an undercover surveillance program to uncover the source of press leaks. .
There are also fears that the company is sending large amounts of user data to China, in contravention of strict European privacy rules.
Additionally, there have been concerns about the content on TikTok and whether it harms the mental health of adolescents.
(With information from EFE and AP)