House Intel Chair defends TikTok bill, warns of Chinese influence

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner defended the bill passed by the House of Representatives that could potentially lead to a U.S. ban on TikTok unless its Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance, divests from the popular social media app. In an interview with ABC News, Turner emphasized that the legislation is not a ban on TikTok but rather a national security concern due to China's authoritarian regime and its history of surveillance and control over its population.

Turner highlighted China's ban on major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as its strategic use of social media and data collection to manipulate societies. He expressed concerns about the structural relationship between TikTok and the Chinese Communist Party, emphasizing the potential threat to individual privacy and democratic values.

The legislation, which requires ByteDance to sell TikTok within 180 days or face a clampdown in the U.S., is now under consideration by the Senate. President Joe Biden has indicated his willingness to sign the bill into law if it passes in the upper chamber.

In response to concerns about potential job losses related to a TikTok ban, Turner reassured that the legislation is aimed at severing ties between Chinese ownership and the app to address troubling national security issues. He pointed to India's previous ban on TikTok over similar concerns and emphasized the need to address China's global influence and surveillance practices.

Overall, the debate over TikTok reflects broader geopolitical tensions between authoritarian regimes and democratic values, as well as concerns about data privacy, propaganda, and national security. The bill's passage would mark a significant step in addressing these complex issues and safeguarding American interests in the digital age.


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