Bill banning TikTok from government devices is approved by the US Senate.


A significant step has been taken in the No TikTok on Government Devices Act, which was presented by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri).

Although, the US house will still need to vote on it before it can become a law, however, once it is passed into law, the TikTok app will no longer be accessible on any phones or other devices held by the federal government thanks to a unanimous vote by the US Senate to pass the legislation. 

Its approval highlights officials' worries that the parent business of the app, ByteDance, which is based in China, would give the Chinese government access to data collected from US users. The Chinese government may use TikTok to undertake "influence operations" or to "technically hack" millions of devices, FBI Director Chris Wray warned legislators only last month.

According to Bloomberg, the measure excludes "law enforcement actions, national security interests and activities, and security researchers" from its ban on installing TikTok on government-owned devices. Hawley referred to the program as a "Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party" and argued that it shouldn't be installed on government computers until China is totally cut off from the country. According to Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesman for TikTok, Hawley "has proceeded forward with... a proposal which does nothing to serve US national security objectives," according to Bloomberg. Oberwetter continued, "We hope he would press the government to advance on an arrangement that would genuinely meet his concerns rather than going down that path.

Recent days saw the filing of a second bill by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) that seeks to outright outlaw TikTok in the US. Their legislation, in contrast to Hawley's, also specifically names all social media firms with ties to or influence in China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela. For not having "yet to take a single serious move to protect American users from the menace of TikTok," Rubio blasted the government.

States like Maryland and South Dakota have already made it illegal to install TikTok on equipment used by the government. Before becoming a law, Hawley's plan still needs to be approved by the US House.

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