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Washington, March 8 – A group of 12 US Senators has unveiled a new bill, that now has a White House backing, that will give President Joe Biden power to ban TikTok nationwide.
Called the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, it gives the US government new powers, up to and including a ban, “against foreign-linked producers of electronics or software that the Commerce Department deems to be a national security risk,” reports CNN.
The bipartisan bill, led by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), would empower the US Secretary of Commerce to ban foreign technologies and companies from operating in the US if they present a threat to national security.
The bill covers companies in countries, including China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela.
“Today, the threat that everyone is talking about is TikTok, and how it could enable surveillance by the Chinese Communist Party, or facilitate the spread of malign influence campaigns in the U.S. Before TikTok, however, it was Huawei and ZTE, which threatened our nation’s telecommunications networks,” Warner said in a statement.
“We need a comprehensive, risk-based approach that proactively tackles sources of potentially dangerous technology before they gain a foothold in America, so we aren’t playing Whac-A-Mole and scrambling to catch up once they’re already ubiquitous,” he added.
The Warner bill comes just a few days after the House Foreign Affairs Committee pushed through a separate measure to restrict access to TikTok, called the Deterring America’s Technological Adversaries Act, or DATA Act.