Senate passes bill banning TikTok on government devices

A law banning the use of TikTok on government devices was passed by the Senate on Wednesday amid fears that data obtained from the popular social media app could fall into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

The No TikTok on Government Devices Act, sponsored by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), would ban individuals from downloading or using TikTok on phones, tablets and computers issued by the US government or state-owned companies.

The bill passed after no senators objected to the measure. It still has to pass the house before heading to President Biden’s desk.

“TikTok is a Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It is a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to completely sever ties with China, it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said in a statement. “States in the US ban TikTok on government devices. It’s time Joe Biden and the Democrats help do the same.”

At least five states — Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas — have banned government agencies from using TikTok over security concerns.

New York lawmakers also introduced a bill this week that would ban state employees and contractors from downloading the app on government-issued electronics.

At the federal level, another anti-TikTok bill was introduced in Congress this week, aimed at banning the social media platform entirely from the United States.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) introduced the Chinese Communist Party’s Countering the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Repressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning Bill (ANTI-SOCIAL CCP). on Tuesday .

Rubio and Gallagher’s bill would ban “all transactions by social media companies in or under the influence of China, Russia and several other countries of concern” such as Iran, North Korea and Venezuela.

According to Rubio, TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance LTD, is required by Chinese law to share its data with the Chinese Communist Party.

“This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that collects data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day,” Rubio said in a statement. “We know it’s being used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it is under the People’s Republic of China.”

TikTok claims it has never shared US user data with the CCP and would not do so if asked.

A TikTok spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that Hawley’s legislation “does nothing to advance US national security interests. We hope that instead of continuing down this path, he urges the government to press ahead with an agreement that would actually address his concerns.” Senate passes bill banning TikTok on government devices


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