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The "Squad" Rejected a Bill Banning Tik Tok - Balint Voted For It

The Boston Globe mused that Vermont Representative Becca Balint was so aligned with the “squad,” a group of eight Democrats who advocate for progressive policies, that she might join the group.

But while the squad unanimously rejected a bill to ban Tik Tok because of language that could lead to broad overreach by the executive branch, Balint voted in favor of the bill.

Balint said she voted for "The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act" or H.R. 7521, because of her concerns about the potential national security risks posed by TikTok, citing its Chinese ownership and the possibility that the Chinese government could access user data.

But the bill has raised legal concerns about giving the President excessive power to control American social media companies. Critics argue that the legislation would grant the President unprecedented authority to censor online speech.

Legal interpretations of H.R. 7521 argue that the bill's language is too broad and could potentially be applied to individuals "controlled by" a foreign country. This raises concerns about the potential for abuse of power and the ability of the President to determine how the bill is applied.

It is not unthinkable that a president could target social media platforms, apps, and news outlets by claiming they are being influenced by a foreign adversary, which could be the biggest step towards censorship that the United States has taken.

Vermont's Senators Welch and Sanders have not stated their position on H.R. 7521, and did not respond to the question from Compass Vermont.

One thing is clear: while the bill aims to address national security concerns related to TikTok, it has sparked debate about the potential for the President to gain too much power over American social media companies and beyond.

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