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Banning TikTok?

A Closer Look at Legislation, Security Concerns, and User Rights

Avid TikTok users might not be surprised by the latest rumor or its implications, given its frequent circulation. The bill is the latest threat to the app which has been downloaded 170 million times in the United States despite critics’ concerns about data security and its Chinese connections.

In Washington, House lawmakers are advancing their plan to ban TikTok from the United States. A crucial House committee has introduced and endorsed a bill aimed at TikTok, with the full House scheduled to vote on it possibly as early as this week. The White House has indicated that President Biden is ready to sign it into law. On Thursday, March seventh, a House committee moved the bill forward with a unanimous vote of 50-0, following a flood of calls from TikTok users to congressional offices protesting the measure.

If the bill becomes law, TikTok will have approximately five months to sever ties with its China-linked parent company, ByteDance, or risk being banned from US app stores. However, while Biden has expressed support for the bill, Donald Trump, who advocated for a TikTok ban during his presidency, stated on Thursday night that he no longer believes it’s a good idea. He remarked on his platform, Truth Social, that eliminating TikTok would only benefit competitors like Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whom he criticized without elaboration.

TikTok has denounced the legislation as an assault on the First Amendment rights of its users and has launched a campaign within its app in response. The company stated, “The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression. This will damage millions of businesses, deny artists an audience, and destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country.”

Lawmakers argue that TikTok poses a national security threat because the Chinese government could exploit its intelligence laws to compel ByteDance to provide the data of US TikTok users. Concerns abound that this information could be used for intelligence purposes, disinformation, or propaganda campaigns. To date, the US government has not publicly presented evidence of China accessing TikTok user data, although cybersecurity experts acknowledge the potential severity of such a scenario.

While this rumor may not come as a shock, it appears to be evolving into a significant issue with Congress, President Biden, and Donald Trump weighing in. For avid TikTok users, it might be wise to back up your content now.

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About the Contributor
Savannah Dascani
Savannah Dascani, Staff Writer
Savannah Dascani is a writer for the Derry Area HighSchool Station. She has many accomplishments, she has been in 6 School concerts, she has performed our Nations Colors at MotoAmerica Motorcycle Racing CG.  She enjoys reading, welding, beekeeping and helping others. She is a local beekeeper in the Westmorland Area. In her free time she enjoys to read and play with her baby brother.

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