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Khanna explains opposition to TikTok bill as senators signal openness| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat who represents Silicon Valley, laid out his case against a sweeping ban on social media platform TikTok on Sunday after opposing the legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House last week, saying the bill would be ineffective.

The legislation passed the house, 352 to 65, on Wednesday, with Khanna among the 50 Democrats, mostly from the progressive wing, who voted against it. He said the focus should be on improving data privacy laws rather than banning a social media platform.

“What is the real evidence that you couldn't pass a data privacy law or a law that prohibits data from going to a foreign country and do it that way?” Khanna, one of the progressive Democrats, said on ABC's “This Week.” “The frustration is that we haven't been able to pass these data privacy laws. Those laws would also cover data brokers that sell data to Chinese companies. “This bill doesn’t really address that issue.”

Opponents of the bill also cited concerns about violating Americans' right to free speech and harming small business owners who rely on TikTok for their marketing and sales.

The legislation requires TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, to sell its US assets within six months of the bill's enactment or face an outright ban in the United States. Supporters of the measure are concerned that the Chinese government will gain access to the data of approximately 150 million American residents who use the video app and influence public debate in the United States by adjusting the app's algorithms in your favor.

While acknowledging concerns raised by TikTok critics, Khanna said Sunday that threats to the Chinese government's security could be more effectively addressed with “a narrowly tailored law” that prohibits any transfer of private data from Americans to China and other foreign entities. .

The United States does not have a federal data privacy law that restricts the sale of personal data, potentially allow foreign entities to purchase private information of millions of Americans. Khanna has promised for years to spend A new law which imposes restrictions on the ability of technology companies to collect and profit from their users' data.

The bill's fate in the Senate is unclear, but two senators, a Democrat and a Republican, said Sunday they had reservations about the legislation and expressed sympathy for calls to ban the app.

Sen. Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on NBC's “Meet the Press” that he was open to supporting the House bill but had not made a final decision.

“We'll see how the Senate wants to address this,” Cardin said. “But I would like us to reach the finish line and put up the necessary guardrails.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, partly echoed Cardin's sentiments while emphasizing the need to take swift action against TikTok.

“I'd like to see the final text, but I'm certainly predisposed to voting for it,” Cassidy said on “Meet the Press.” “Anyone who doesn't believe that the Chinese Communist Party would like to influence how we think in our country simply doesn't understand what they do.”

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