Biden's new powers will decide TikTok's fate
The US House Foreign Affairs Committee gave US president Joe Biden the power to ban TikTok. 16 of the committee voted against the decision, while 24 members voted to grant the administration new powers.
TikTok's presence in the United States has become a serious issue for the country, especially after the ascending tension with China. The spy wars between the two countries increased the thoughts of TikTok's possible data breach, meaning over 100 million Americans' data could go into the hands of the Chinese government. On Wednesday, The US House of Foreign Affairs Committee gathered to discuss the matter and vote on the bill to grant the administration new powers. Reuters described it as "the most far-reaching U.S. restriction on any social media app."
The bill was approved after getting the majority of the votes, 24 to 16. TikTok is not the only app that Biden can ban. He can also ban other apps that have security risks. Joe Biden could "impose a ban on any entity that "may" transfer sensitive personal data to an entity subject to the influence of China."
"TikTok is a national security threat ... It is time to act. Anyone with TikTok downloaded on their device has given the CCP (Communist Party of China) a backdoor to all their personal information. It’s a spy balloon into their phone," said Representative Michael McCaul, the Republican chair of the committee who sponsored the bill.
On the other side, Democrats opposed the bill and suggested getting consultation from experts before taking such a decision. The bill gives Biden the power to ban any entity that could transfer sensitive data to China, but the details on "how" is still a question mark. However, it will probably restrict access to TikTok from the United States. Many examples of app and service bans happen worldwide, and users find ways to breach the ban using VPNs.
This week, the White House directed federal agencies to remove TikTok from all government-issued devices. The agencies are given 30 days to complete the process. Canada, the European Commission, and European Council have also banned the application.Advertisement