The US Senate unanimously passed a bill banning TikTok from all government devices and is considering a outright ban for the entire nation. Senators voted for legislation to ban the TikTok app from all government phones and other devices.

TikTok Senator Josh Hawley
Senator Josh Hawley

The legislation’s approval highlights authorities’ concerns that ByteDance’s China-based parent company may share information collected from U.S. users with the Chinese government. Last month, FBI Director Chris Wray warned lawmakers that the Chinese government could use TikTok to launch “influence operations” or to “technically compromise” millions of devices.

While the bill aims to ban TikTok from being installed on government devices, it does provide exemptions for “law enforcement, national security interests and activities, and security researchers.” Hawley called the app a “Chinese Communist Party Trojan horse” and said it had no place on government devices until it completely cut ties with China.

TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter said Hawley “made a proposal that does nothing to advance US national security interests.” Oberwetter added: “We hope that instead of continuing down this path, he will urge the administration to move forward on an agreement that really solves the problems.”

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TikTok Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio

Just a few days ago, the Senate filed a separate bill to ban TikTok in the US entirely. Unlike Hawley’s bill, their bill also targets all social media from China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, as well as those influenced by these countries. Rubio criticized the administration for “not yet taking any meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok.”

Individual states, including Maryland and South Dakota, have already banned TikTok from being installed on government devices. As for Hawley’s bill, the US House of Representatives has yet to approve it before it becomes law.

The European Commission is investigating TikTok – the regulator is interested in the transfer of data of EU citizens to China and advertising aimed at teenagers

Source: Engadget

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