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Rep. Pfluger: TikTok Legislation Not a ‘Ban’ on the App, Forces ‘Divestment’ from CCP

via Forbes
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Rep. August Pfluger said the recently passed House bill targeting TikTok is not a blanket ban, but rather offers an ultimatum for the app to divest from its Chinese parent company ByteDance, which is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

The bill requires TikTok to sell to a company in a friendly nation in order to remain operating in the U.S.

“It is not a ban at all. It is actually a divestment from a Chinese Communist Party-controlled entity called ByteDance. And so I hope that TikTok as a platform can remain,” Pfluger said. “I hope that Americans can continue to use it.”

Pfluger argued this protects user privacy and data from adversarial nations seeking to undermine American interests.

Only if TikTok refuses this path would an outright ban be imposed.

The legislation forces TikTok to strip itself “from the parent company ByteDance, to divest itself from an adversarial nation and sell to a friendly company in a friendly nation,” he said.

Lawmakers see this as acknowledging an alternative path for the company’s economic interests while addressing national security risks from a platform controlled by the CCP.

Pfluger warned of dangers of foreign adversarial control over any industry and said the bill is not about politics but protecting Americans from influence campaigns on messaging.

“And it also includes not just the China, Chinese Communist Party issue, but it also includes countries like Iran and North Korea and Russia as adversarial countries who definitely have shown and demonstrated a will to undermine American interests everywhere around the world,” he said.

“We want them to sell to a company — any company here in the United States that can make sure that they would protect the privacy, the data,” he added.

“Lawmakers are acknowledging, ‘Here’s a path.’ So why would they sell it? Because it’s in their economic interest to do so, because it’s the future of that company. Because we know that many people do use it. And we’re not saying that you shouldn’t be able to, but this is the first step when it comes to Congress looking at the privacy of every American,” Pfluger said.

“And certainly, when you think about another country being able to shape the narrative on anything, think about any industry they don’t like — fossil fuels in my district, elections throughout the United States and other countries. We have to protect Americans and protect them from a nefarious actor which we know wants to undermine them,” he said.

“I have children of my own and we don’t allow TikTok in my home, and we also have other restrictions on other social media platforms. However, the national security threat that we see from this particular platform because of its ties to the CCP, are so egregious and are right here in our face,” he said. TikTok is a “Trojan horse that we ought to — we have to be aware of.”

“So it goes beyond the parent thing. It’s not just the parents we’re worried about. It’s the service member that just called that we’re also worried about,” he said, noting that this “isn’t about conservatives being on TikTok,” but is about “the ability of a company that is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party to shape a narrative that could be for or against any issue.”

“But they can dial it up, heat up the message and cool it off. We want TikTok as a platform to continue,” he said. “We just want it to be controlled by somebody other than the Chinese Communist Party.”

“This is not a ban,” he said. “This is forcing a divestment from a very, very dangerous company, and I hope that they make the right decision.”

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This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak,...