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Elon Musk Warns TikTok Bill Is ‘About Censorship And Control’

via HBO
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Elon Musk raised concerns about a bipartisan bill targeting foreign-owned social media apps like TikTok, claiming it could enable censorship.

The bill would prohibit app store/web hosting services for apps controlled by adversaries unless they sever foreign ties.

“The so-called TikTok ban is a trojan horse. The President will be given the power to ban WEB SITES, not just Apps. The person breaking the new law is deemed to be the U.S. (or offshore) INTERNET HOSTING SERVICE or App Store, not the ‘foreign adversary,’” Rep. Thomas Massie said.

Musk argued this could allow banning websites, not just apps.

A congressman said the bill narrowly targets social media controlled by China, Russia, Iran or North Korea that pose security risks, and only websites powering such apps.

“This law is not just about TikTok, it is about censorship and government control!” Musk wrote. “If it were just about TikTok, it would only cite ‘foreign control’ as the issue, but it does not.”

“In addition,” the release added, “the bill creates a process for the President to designate certain, specifically defined social media applications that are subject to the control of a foreign adversary — per Title 10 — and pose a national security risk. Designated applications will face a prohibition on app store availability and web hosting services in the U.S. unless they sever ties to entities subject to the control of a foreign adversary through divestment.”

“The bill does not impact websites in general. It has a very narrowly tailored definition that can only apply to foreign adversary controlled social media, like the TikTok app and TikTok.com — anything controlled by China, Russia, Iran or North Korea that pose a national security threat. It creates a very high bar for what constitutes a national security threat,” Rep. Mike Gallagher said.

“The bill addresses both foreign adversary-controlled apps and their associated websites, but only websites that power an adversary controlled social media app, again, like tiktok.com. That is the only reason the word ‘website’ is even in the bill,” he added. “The Chinese Communist Party does not have a First Amendment right to conduct malign influence operations in the United States. We need to cut out the Chinese Communist Party tumor from TikTok and compel Chinese-owned ByteDance to sell TikTok.”

Gallagher said, “What the bill does is give TikTok a simple choice: either side with its users and pave the way for its operations as an American company and allow people to speak free from the fear of propaganda and censorship OR side with the Chinese Communist Party. It’s up to TikTok.”

The bill gives TikTok a choice to side with users and operate independently or side with China.

The bill’s sponsors say it does not impact general websites and addresses potential Chinese influence operations on TikTok.

Musk saw it as broader government control of the internet, while supporters framed it as protecting national security from foreign adversaries like China.

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