Fla. Sen. Rubio Presses Forward with Controversial Legislation to Ban TikTok

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fl. has been one of the leading China hawks in the Senate, often joined by his colleague Rick Scott, R-Fl.

Congress has floated the idea of banning TikTok, a company owned by ByteDance, based in China.

Rubio has taken the lead on the controversial legislation which would force the app’s nearly 100 million users to find another platform.

Rubio said that TikTok “allows the Chinese Communist Party to access your private data” in a public statement given today.

“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok. This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.” Rubio said.

Some journalists, including CNN contributors, were quick to criticize Rubio and Republicans for introducing the legislation, calling it a” GOP-led TikTok ban craze.”

Rubio pushed back against CNN, saying that the legislation he introduced has bipartisan support and that the FBI has echoed similar concerns.

Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Il. co-sponsored Rubio’s legislation.

Other countries, such as India and Taiwan, have also banned TikTok, citing national security concerns.

FBI Director Chris Wray has expressed concerns that China can control the app’s recommendation algorithm, which could allow them to influence American elections by allowing them to “manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.”

“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us,” Wray further said.

US States, such as Texas and South Dakota, have also banned TikTok on state devices alone, meaning the legislation is not without precedent in the United States.

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Governor Ron DeSantis has also taken steps to limit Chinese influence in Florida.

DeSantis unveiled legislation protecting Florida’s agriculture, technology sector, and education system from Chinese influence in late September.

“By prohibiting the purchase of lands, state contracts with Chinese technology firms, and the infiltration of CCP-affiliated groups such as Confucius Institutes, Florida is leading the way to protect our nation from international foes.” He said.

Other stories you may want to read:

Sen. Rubio top target of Chinese disinformation campaign

DeSantis Rolls Out Forceful Agenda to Stop Communist China

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