WASHINGTON,. A bipartisan pair of high-ranking US senators introduced legislation Tuesday that would give federal authorities the power to ban TikTok and other technology companies over their alleged threats to national security.

Mark Warner, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and John Thune, the top ranking Republican on the Commerce Committee, are leading a coalition of 12 bipartisan senators in support of the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act.

The legislation would enable the secretary of commerce to review and take action against information technologies, products and services from foreign adversaries — listed in the bill as China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela — that “pose undue risk to our national security,” Anadolu Agency cited the lawmakers said in a statement.

“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 US Before TikTok, however, it was Huawei and ZTE, which threatened our nation’s telecommunications networks. And before that, it was Russia’s Kaspersky Lab, which threatened the security of government and corporate devices,” Warner said.

“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.

According to the report, the bill is not an outright ban on TikTok, but it could lead to the action should federal regulators deem it necessary.

A similar measure was approved in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee last week.

Thune, the Republican who is introducing the legislation alongside Warner, said the bill was necessary because past efforts amount to “a piecemeal approach when it comes to technology from adversarial nations that pose national security risks.”

The RESTRICT Act, he said, represents a “holistic, methodical approach to address the threats posed by technology platforms – like TikTok – from foreign adversaries.”

The White House was quick to lend its full-throated support for the nascent legislation, saying it “would empower the United States government to prevent certain foreign governments from exploiting technology services operating in the United States in a way that poses risks to Americans’ sensitive data and our national security.”

“This will help us address the threats we face today, and also prevent such risks from arising in the future. We look forward to continue working with both Democrats and Republicans on this bill, and urge Congress to act quickly to send it to the President’s desk,” said National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.





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