New York, Europe Brief News – The White House said it backed legislation introduced on Tuesday by a dozen senators to give the administration new powers to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok and other foreign-based technologies if they pose national security threats.
The endorsement boosts efforts by a number of lawmakers to ban the popular ByteDance-owned app, which is used by more than 100 million Americans.
The bill gives the commerce department the authority to impose restrictions up to and including banning TikTok and other technologies that pose national security risks, said the Democratic senator Mark Warner, who chairs the intelligence committee.
He said it would also apply to foreign technologies from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.
TikTok further said in a statement that any “US ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide”.
The bill would require the commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, to identify and address foreign threats to information and communications technology products and services. Raimondo’s office declined to comment.
The group, led by Warner and the Republican senator John Thune, includes Democrats Tammy Baldwin, Joe Manchin, Michael Bennett, Kirsten Gillibrand and Martin Heinrich along with Republicans Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Dan Sullivan, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, Warner’s office said.
Warner said it was important the government do more to make clear what it believes are the national security risks to the US from the use of TikTok.