The bipartisan bill would empower the US Secretary of Commerce to ban foreign technologies and companies…reports Asian Lite News
A group of 12 US Senators has unveiled a new bill, that now has a White House backing, that will give President Joe Biden power to ban TikTok nationwide.
Called the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, it gives the US government new powers, up to and including a ban, “against foreign-linked producers of electronics or software that the Commerce Department deems to be a national security risk,” reports CNN.
The bipartisan bill, led by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), would empower the US Secretary of Commerce to ban foreign technologies and companies from operating in the US if they present a threat to national security.
The bill covers companies in countries, including China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela.
“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,” Warner said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
The Warner bill comes just a few days after the House Foreign Affairs Committee pushed through a separate measure to restrict access to TikTok, called the Deterring America’s Technological Adversaries Act, or DATA Act.
WH applauds Senators
The White House applauded the Senators for introducing the RESTRICT Act that would give new powers to the US government to take action against technologies posing risk to the country, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.
White House urged Congress to pass legislation and send it to President’s desk.
Jake Sullivan said that the legislation will empower the US government to prevent certain governments from exploiting technology services operating in the United States in a way that poses risks to sensitive data of people and the country’s national security.
“We applaud the bipartisan group of Senators, led by Senators Warner and Thune, who today introduced the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act. 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 in a statement.
Sullivan noted that the bill presents a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the security and safety of Americans. He stressed that the legislation will provide the US government with new mechanisms to mitigate the national security risks posed by high-risk technology businesses operating in the country.
“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. This will help us address the threats we face today, and also prevent such risks from arising in the future,” Sullivan said in a statement.
He further said, “We look forward to continue working with both Democrats and Republicans on this bill, and urge Congress to act quickly to send it to the President’s desk.” (IANS/ANI)