Congressman Jim Banks introduced a bill today that mandates warning labels on social media from countries deemed a national security risk to the US.
The Indiana Republican worries that Americans locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic are spending more time online at sites such as TikTok, which is owned by China's ByteDance.
The US Army has banned soldiers from downloading that app because, under China's National Intelligence Act of 2017, the country's Communist party has the right to harvest TikTok data stored on servers in China.
"Americans should know which is which before they hit the download button. Parents and consumers have a right to a warning that by downloading some apps like Russia’s FaceApp or China’s TikTok, their data may be used against the United States by an adversarial or enemy regime," said Banks in introducing his bill.
His proposed warning label reads: ‘‘Warning: [Name of Covered Foreign Software] is developed by [Name of Developer of Covered Foreign Software], which [is controlled by a company that] [is organized under the laws of]/[conducts its principal operations in]/[is organized under the laws of and conducts its principal operations in] [Name of Covered Country]. Please acknowledge by selecting the “accept” or “decline” button below if you wish to proceed.’’
The Banks ban covers sites from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Venezuela.