(WPRI) — TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms with more than 100 million users in the United States, but it could soon be restricted.
A dozen senators unveiled new legislation Tuesday called the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, but it doesn’t target TikTok specifically.
The RESTRICT Act would give powers to the Commerce Department to examine foreign technology, including apps like TikTok, from countries such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.
If passed, the proposal would give Commerce Secretary and former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo the power to ban not only TikTok, but any foreign-based technologies she deems a threat.
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“Protecting national security is one of our top priorities at the Department of Commerce, and I commend Senator Warner, Senator Thune, and the bipartisan group of senators who announced the RESTRICT Act today for working together and proposing a mechanism to address technology-based threats to our country from certain foreign adversaries,” Raimondo said in a statement Tuesday.
“Commerce welcomes this legislative framework for addressing these threats and protecting Americans’ safety and national security,” she continued. “I look forward to working with these senators and their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance this legislation through Congress and to the President’s desk.”
Lawmakers have previously said China’s government could force TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to provide access to the app’s U.S. user data. TikTok has since denied that it shares American data with China.
Last week, the Biden administration gave federal agencies 30 days to remove TikTok from all government-issued devices.
Some agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and State, already have restrictions in place.