Critics of the social media app TikTok have long said it’s used as a tool by China’s communist government to collect intelligence. That’s an assessment many Washington lawmakers seem to share.
According to CBS, the Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to ban federal employees from using TikTok on any government device.
Senator calls TikTock “a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party”
The bill was put forward by Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, and it compels the director of the Office of Management and Budget to promulgate regarding the removal of TikTok from government devices in all federal agencies.
However, Hawley’s legislation provides for an exception for law enforcement and national security personnel whose duties require them to access TikTok.
“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party,” CBS News quoted the Missouri lawmaker as saying in a statement.
“It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said of the app, adding, “States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”
Breitbart reported last week that a series of states have cited security concerns in moving to ban TikTok from state-owned computers and phones.
Birmingham’s WBRC quoted a statement from Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey as saying, “Protecting the state of Alabama and our citizens’ right to privacy is a must, and I surely don’t take a security threat from China lightly.”
“After we discussed this with our OIT secretary, I came to the no-brainer decision to ban the use of the TikTok app on our state devices and network,” she continued.
“Look, I’m no TikTok user, but the evidence speaks for itself, and I want to make sure I’m doing everything we can as a state to stand against this growing security risk,” the governor concluded.
Bill from Marco Rubio would ban TikTok outright
Meanwhile, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has put forward legislation that would ban the social media platform outright.
A press release put out by Rubio’s office earlier this month explained that the bill targets “any social media company in, or under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern.”
“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” Rubio declared.
“This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day,” he added.