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Warner said the White House supports bills targeting TikTok

Sen. Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that he believes the White House supports a bill that could potentially allow the Commerce Department. To ban TikTokThe popular social video platform has come under scrutiny from US leaders.

“I think the White House is very much in favor of this bill,” the Virginia Democrat said during an appearance on “Face the Nation.” He noted that the proposed legislation would give US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo the “tool” to ban or “force sales” of the app.

Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok was at the center of a congressional debate last week, as company CEO Shaw Ji Chiu testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in response to questions about whether the app posed a national security threat. different countries, Besides the USIn light of ByteDance’s ties to China, the government has already taken steps to ban the use of TikTok on devices, and claims have circulated that the app could be used as a surveillance tool.

Along with Republican Sen. John Thune of South Carolina, Warner co-sponsored a bill called the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, which aims to address potential threats posed by technology linked to foreign governments. Commerce Department authorities to review or ban them altogether.


Sen. Mark Warner on “Face the Nation” on March 26, 2023.

CBS News

Warner told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that the restrictive legislation has so far received bipartisan support from a group of 22 senators, including 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans. It is not yet clear how the White House will respond if the bill passes Congress.

However, in a separate appearance on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby reiterated concerns that the Biden administration has talked about TikTok in the past. Kirby also said the council supports the restrictive legislation because it would give President Joe Biden “additional tools and authority” to regulate applications.

“You know, there’s a review going on by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States,” he said, referring to the panel currently reviewing TikTok’s national security risks.

“But look, in the meantime, the president has already said we have national security concerns about that app and he’s banned it from government devices,” Kirby added. “We supported the limited legislation, pending legislation, we would like to see it passed by Congress so that the president can have additional tools and authority.”

Chew’s testimony last week focused largely on addressing U.S. fears that data collected by TikTok could be handed over to the Chinese government.

“While I appreciated Mr. Chew’s testimony, he could not answer the initial questions,” Warner said Sunday.

“At the end of the day, TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance. And under Chinese law, that company has to be willing to hand over data to the Communist Party,” the senator continued. “Or one of my big fears is, we’ve got 150 million Americans on TikTok for an average of about 90 minutes a day, and how that channel can be used for promotional purposes.”

In Congress, Chiu said Beijing has never requested data from TikTok — which does not operate in China — and if it did, TikTok would not hand over the data.

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