The Senate unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit the use of TikTok on govt. devices amid mounting national security worries over the Chinese-owned social media network.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) presented the No TikTok on Government Devices Bill, which was passed Wednesday Evening.
“TikTok serves as a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It poses a significant security danger to the United States, and it has no place on government devices until the US is compelled to terminate all ties with China,” Hawley stated in a statement on Thursday. “States around the U.S. are prohibiting TikTok on government equipment. It is now up to Joe Biden and the Democrats to do the same.”
To become law, the bill must be passed by the House and also signed by President Biden.
Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray mentioned TikTok’s security issues in a speech at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
“All of these things are currently in the clutches of a government that does not share our beliefs, and that has a mission that is indeed very much at odds with what is in the best interests of our country. “We should be concerned about it,” Wray added.
The Senate vote comes as numerous states have prohibited TikTok from being used on state-issued devices. The Daily Wire recently reported on the three latest states that have taken precautions against TikTok, with separate orders issued by the governors of Alabama, Iowa, and North Dakota on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Nebraska Republican Governor Pete Ricketts became the first state leader to prohibit the app on state devices in Aug. 2020. South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem prohibited the app in Nov., and several other Republican-led states followed suit.
Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah are among the states that have implemented similar TikTok restrictions. At least 10 states have implemented bans, with others exploring similar legislation.
A bipartisan group of senators is also pushing for a nationwide ban on TikTok use.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) proposed the bill in the Senate earlier this month. In the House, Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) sponsored comparable legislation.
“The bipartisan ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Bill is a significant step toward defending our nation from authoritarian governments’ illicit digital monitoring and influence activities,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement.
Former President Trump signed an executive order in 2020 to prohibit TikTok. Following legal challenges, the decree was never enforced. In June 2021, Biden withdrew it, replacing it with his own policy to protect Americans’ data from foreign foes.
TikTok has over 100 million users in the United States. It has been one of the most popular apps in the Apple App Store as well as Google Play.