U.S. House panel will vote on whether to ban TikTok next month

Earlier this week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee announced that a bill seeking to ban the use of China's popular app TikTok in the United States will be voted on next month by the committee.

According to Representative Michael McCaul, the Republican chair of the panel, the bill would provide the White House with the legal tools it needs to ban TikTok due to concerns about U.S. national security.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, McCaul told the outlet that he was concerned the app creates a back door for the Chinese government to gain access to his phones.

A series of court battles over the use of TikTok in the United States resulted in a loss for the then-President Donald Trump's attempt to ban new users from downloading the app, ban other transactions, and effectively halt its use in the country, but to no avail.

It was officially abandoned by the Biden administration in June 20 Following that, Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bipartisan bill in December calling for the ban on TikTok, as well as the blocking of all transactions from social media companies operating in or under the influence of China and Russia.

It is also important to note that a ban of this short video app would require 60 votes in the Senate to become law, and would face significant hurdles in Congress that would make it hard to pass.

As TikTok has been working to assure Washington for the past three years that the personal data of Americans cannot be accessed by Chinese Communist Party officials or anyone else under Beijing's influence, the company has been seeking to assure Washington that there will be no access to personal information of Americans or any manipulation of their content.

During a conference call Friday, TikTok said "calls for a complete ban on TikTok would separate national security from the broader issues of data security, privacy, and online harms that exist across the industry.".

Due to concerns that U.S. user data would be in the hands of China as soon as the firm divested the company, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a significant national security body of the U.S. government, ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok in 2020.

In a national security agreement for the protection of the data of U.S. TikTok users, CFIUS and TikTok have been in talks since 2021, in order to reach a national security agreement.

As part of its commitment to guarantee that there are no backdoors into TikTok that could be exploited to manipulate the platform, TikTok has invested roughly $5 billion in its efforts thus far in order to ensure a "comprehensive package of measures with layers of government and independent oversight" and has invested a lot of time in ensuring that.

According to the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, the legislation is being reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). As such, she will not be providing any further details concerning the bill.

There are more than 25 U.S. states that have already banned the use of TikTok on state-owned devices as well as federal employees using or downloading it. In addition, Biden signed legislation last month that bans federal employees from using or downloading TikTok on government-owned devices.

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