Biden Admin Gets Behind Bipartisan Bill That Would Allow U.S. To Ban TikTok, Take Action Against Other Foreign Threats
WASHINGTON - MARCH 7: Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., speaks during the news conference to introduce the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information Communications Technology Act, or RESTRICT Act, in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. . Warner is flanked from left by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Sen. John Thune, R-S. Dak., Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s administration said Tuesday afternoon that it supports a bipartisan piece of legislation that was just introduced by a group of senators that would allow the U.S. to ban TikTok and take action against other foreign adversaries.

Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and John Thune (R-SD), ranking member of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband, led a group of 12 bipartisan senators to introduce the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act.

The legislation empowers the Department of Commerce to review, prevent, and mitigate information communications and technology (ICT) transactions that pose undue risk to U.S. economic and national security.

“Today, 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 U.S. 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,” said Warner. “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.”

The White House issued a statement from national security adviser Jake Sullivan about the legislation in which Sullivan signaled that the administration supports it and wants to sign it into law as fast as possible.

“This legislation 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,” Sullivan said. “This bill presents a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the security and safety of Americans. This legislation would provide the U.S. government with new mechanisms to mitigate the national security risks posed by high-risk technology businesses operating in the United States.”

“Critically, it would strengthen our ability to address discrete risks posed by individual transactions, and systemic risks posed by certain classes of transactions involving countries of concern in sensitive technology sectors,” Sullivan added. “This will help us address the threats we face today, and also prevent such risks from arising in the future.”

The bipartisan group of senators put out a summary explaining what the RESTRICT Act would do, including:

  • Require the Secretary of Commerce to establish procedures to identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, and mitigate transactions involving information and communications technology products in which any foreign adversary has any interest and poses undue or unacceptable risk to national security.
  • Prioritize evaluation of ICT products used in critical infrastructure, integral to telecommunications products, or pertaining to a range of defined emerging, foundational, and disruptive technologies with serious national security implications.
  • Ensure comprehensive actions to address risks of untrusted foreign ICT by requiring the Secretary to take up consideration of concerning activity identified by other USG entities.
  • Educate the public and business community about the threat by requiring the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate with the Director of National Intelligence to provide declassified information on how transactions denied or otherwise mitigated posed undue or unacceptable risk.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Biden Admin Gets Behind Bipartisan Bill That Would Allow U.S. To Ban TikTok, Take Action Against Other Foreign Threats