The Senate voted to ban TikTok on US government-owned devices

The bill comes after several states banned employees from downloading apps on state-owned gadgets due to data issues

The US Senate late Wednesday passed a bill to ban federal employees from using China's video-sharing app TikTok on government-owned devices.

The bill still needs to be approved by the US House of Representatives before it is submitted to President Joe Biden for approval. The House of Representatives must pass the Senate bill before the end of the current session of congress, which is expected next week.

The vote is the latest action by US lawmakers to crack down on Chinese companies amid national security fears that Beijing could use them to spy on Americans. The Senate action comes after North Dakota and Iowa this week joined a growing number of states in banning TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, from state-owned devices amid concerns that data could be passed on to the Chinese government.

During the last Congress, the Senate in August 2020 unanimously approved legislation to ban TikTok from government devices. The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Josh Hawley, is reintroduced into law in 2021.

Many federal agencies including defense, Homeland Security, and state departments have banned TikTok from government-owned devices. "TikTok is a major security risk to the United States, and has no place on government tools," Hawley said previously.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued directives prohibiting executive branch agencies from downloading apps on any government-issued equipment. About a dozen US states have taken similar actions, including Alabama and Utah this week.

TikTok says the concerns are fueled in large part by misinformation and is happy to meet with policy makers to discuss the company's practices.

"We are disappointed that so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies based on baseless lies about TikTok that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States," the company said Wednesday.

Other states taking similar action include Texas, Maryland and South Dakota.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday unveiled a bipartisan bill to ban TikTok altogether in the United States, increasing pressure on ByteDance over US concerns that the app could be used to spy on Americans and denounce content. Rubio is also a sponsor of Hawley's government device ban bill Bill.

The law would block all transactions from any social media companies in or under Chinese or Russian influence, Rubio's office said.

At a hearing last month, FBI Director Chris Wray said TikTok's US operations raised national security concerns.

In 2020, then-President Donald Trump attempted to block new users from downloading TikTok and ban other transactions that would have effectively blocked use of the app in the United States, but lost a series of court battles over those actions.

The government committee on foreign investment in the United States, a powerful national security agency, in 2020 ordered ByteDance to ditch TikTok over concerns that US user data could be passed on to the Chinese government, even though ByteDance has not done so.

CFIUS and TikTok have been in talks for months to reach a national security agreement to protect the data of more than 100 million TikTok users, but it appears no agreement will be reached before the end of the year.This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form