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TikTok Ban Moves Closer to Reality

Taylor Dyer

March 29, 2023


A ban on Tiktok in the United States is moving closer to reality as lawmakers advance their plans. The decision comes after CEO Shou Zi Chew went before the US House Committee on Thursday and faced questions about national security and other concerns involving the app. This is surrounding concerns that TikTok is sharing user data with China.


When Chew was asked if the app was being used to spy on American citizens, he said no. However, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in a tweet on Sunday, "It's very concerning that the CEO of TikTok can't be honest and admit what we already know to be true — China has access to TikTok user data."


Devices owned by the United States Government have already been banned from having the app installed. Now the House wants to move forward with a ban to protect all Americans from suspected national security issues. 


Chew assured lawmakers that steps are being taken to protect user data through its security proposal, “Project Texas.” The project ensures user data is stored on American soil and allows a U.S.-based security team to access the data. To also ease fears of national security issues, the U.S. government would be able to regularly monitor the project.


However, the push to implement the change is controversial, as TikTok is incredibly popular in the U.S., with over 150 million American users. Many users have taken to the app to protest, claiming lawmakers are targeting the app's popularity. One protester includes Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who created her first TikTok to voice her concerns. In the video, she states that she does not support a ban and that “the United States has never before banned a social media company from existence.”


Difficulty Enforcing A ban


So what happens if a ban gets passed? The chances are it will not be easy to enforce or regulate. This is because of VPNs, which stand for virtual private networks. They enable people to create a secure connection between their devices, but it also means they can choose their own location.


For instance, if someone lives in Kansas, they can connect their VPN to a server in a country where TikTok is not banned.


It will be difficult for the government to monitor who is using VPNs for this purpose, even if they can track the VPN in the first place. It’s also highly unlikely that VPNs will be banned since many companies and customers use them for security reasons, and banning VPNs altogether would cause an even bigger controversy.



Edited by: Yasmin

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Tags: China government U.S. data United States CEO TikTok House ban Chew VPN committee user app


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