How the US can ban TikTok in 7 not-so-easy steps

Individual users will not face penalties for continuing to use TikTok, and internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon will not be subject to this order unless they have any business agreements with them. TikTok. “Activation is really a transaction,” said Pablo Chavez, a longtime technology policy executive at Microsoft and Google and now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

Make laws to correct mistakes

Several members of Congress have said they will propose new legislation in the coming weeks to address legal issues that have allowed courts to block Trump’s order. The new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas, expects his panel to vote at the end of the month on legislation he has yet to announce that would allow the president to ban it. TikTok and Other Apps His Office Says US Values ​​Chinese Government

According to their aides, McCaul’s Republican comrades, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin are working to build additional support—including from Democrats. host—for a separate proposal. It would prohibit transactions between US entities and social media companies originating in China, Russia and several other countries that the US considers rivals. The aim is to make apps like TikTok unviable by preventing them from collecting money from US advertisers or being advertised on app stores.

According to his team, Democratic senator Mark Warner of Virginia has broader plans of his own that he plans to introduce in the next few weeks. Fearing that a law that primarily targets TikTok would prompt China to retaliate, Warner argues that the new law should allow the president to disrupt many tech-related deals where foreign rivals have an interest at risk. for US security. The law may apply to a wide range of companies that have been targeted by the US government, including Russian anti-virus software developer Kaspersky And Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei.

Issue an ultimatum

Back in 2020, Trump also ordered ByteDance and any other Chinese shareholders to divest from TikTok. President Biden and the company are still negotiating on whether that divestment will happen. If Congress can pass new legislation, that could give Biden leverage.

Lawmakers including Rubio and Gallagher want to make it clear in their new law that TikTok will be banned unless it cuts all connections to China. The US had previously forced the Chinese owner to divest from gay dating app Grindr. “I don’t know how our national security interests and TikTok’s operations in this country, as long as it’s owned by ByteDance, can coexist,” Rubio told the TV show. Facing the Motherland this week.

Ask Biden to issue a ban

Biden’s most direct move against TikTok would be to mimic Trump’s 2020 order and ask US data centers, app stores, and network providers to cancel contracts with the app, cutting user break.

He can also try to find some legal authorities to go a step further and order internet service providers, including mobile networks, to actively block access to TikTok in the US, a situation that a spokesperson for a major US ISP said their company has not yet encountered. before. The exact method can be left to individual ISPs.

That could lead to ISPs adopting tactics commonly found in countries with far-reaching internet censorship. A common approach is to spoof domain records, preventing a user’s device from successfully connecting to specific servers. It is also used to block access to websites that specialize in piracy and the distribution of child sexual abuse material in many parts of the world.

Networks may also use more stringent tactics to enforce censorship requests, such as check for unencrypted data moving through their system for hints about suspicious material or filtering certain IP addresses. But these measures are more likely to inadvertently disrupt other traffic, said Alp Toker, director of NetBlocks. “In fact, they can avoid this mechanism unless pressured to do so.”


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