Sen. Rand Paul Blocks Sen. Josh Hawley’s Bill to Ban TikTok on 1st Amendment Grounds

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has blocked legislation proposed by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) that would ban the TikTok app from U.S. mobile devices.

“This legislation not only violates the First Amendment of those who own TikTok, many of whom are actually Americans, not Chinese,” Paul said. “But it also violates the First Amendment rights of the millions of young Americans who use this social media app.”

Paul said that there is no difference between TikTok’s behavior and the behavior of other Big Tech social media corporations as he blocked Hawley’s attempt to fast track the legislation on Wednesday.

“Every accusation of data gathering that’s been attributed to TikTok could also be attributed to domestic big tech companies,” said Paul, who added that banning TikTok could make the Republican Party even more hated by young people.

“If Republicans want to considerably lose elections for a generation, they should pass this bill to ban TikTok.” he added. “A social media app used by 150 million American people.”

Hawley contended that TikTok is a spying device used on behalf of the Chinese government, and this is why it can be banned under the U.S. Constitution.

“Scour the First Amendment, I promise you, you won’t find any right to espionage, you won’t find any right to spy,” Hawley said.

Big League Politics has reported on the rising support across the country of banning TikTok over their ties to the Chinese communist government:

According to a recently published Rasmussen poll, 68% of likely United States voters backed proposals by several members of Congress to prohibit the use of TikTok in the US.

Of this figure who supports a TikTok ban, 43% “strongly support” a ban. By contrast, 24% are against banning TikTok, which includes 12% who are strongly opposed to banning Tiktok. 

In November, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Mike Gallagher pushed for banning TikTok due to its Chinese ownership. They believe that the Chinese Communist Party could use TikTok to  “collect sensitive national security information from U.S. government employees and develop profiles on millions of Americans to use for blackmail or espionage.”

68% of respondents agree with Rubio’s and Gallagher’s quote, which includes 46% who “strongly agree.” 23% disagree, which includes 9% who “strongly disagree.” 

70% of voters are worried that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, which includes 46% who are “very concerned.” 25% aren’t concerned by TikTok’s Chinese ownership, which includes 12% who are “Not At All Concerned.”

83% of Republicans, 59% of Democrats, and 68% of independent voters are worried that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company.

87% of Republicans, 54% of Democrats, and 64% of voters at least somewhat agree with Rubio-Gallagher’s sentiments about how China could potentially use “collect sensitive national security information.”

83% of Republicans, 58% of Democrats, and 64% of independent voters at least somewhat support federal legislation to prohibit TikTok in the United States.

Voters under the age of 40 are less likely than their older counterparts to be worried about TikTok or to back legislative action to ban the app in the US.

Banning TikTok is not likely to solve any of the problems caused by the proliferation of Big Tech. If anything, it will just help the Orwellian tech giants who are at war with liberty and helped rig the 2020 presidential election gain more market share with their competition put out of commission.

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