HomePoliticsSenate passes measure to ban TikTok on government devices

Senate passes measure to ban TikTok on government devices

Washington — The Senate unanimously approved a measure Wednesday night that would ban federal employees from using TikTok on all government devices, a move stemming from security concerns about the app and its Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance.

The measure introduced by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, which passed by unanimous consent, comes after federal agencies including the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security banned the app from their devices for security reasons. Several states have banned the app on government devices for the same reason.

“TikTok is a Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party. He is a major security risk to the United States, and until he is forced to completely cut ties with China, he has no place in government apparatus,” Hawley said in a statement after the incident. bill was approved by the Senate on Wednesday night. “States in the US are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”

the Account statements that the director of the Office of Management and Budget should develop standards and guidelines for executive agencies that require the removal of TikTok, with exceptions for law enforcement and national security activities.

Hawley introduced similar legislation that passed the Senate in August 2020. It is unclear whether the House will accept the Senate measure, with only days left on the calendar before the new Congress. Legislation must pass both houses in the same Congress to reach the president’s desk. Republican Senators Tom Cotton, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio and Bill Cassidy cosponsored this latest measure.

As CBS News has previously reportedWith more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide, TikTok tracks users’ personal information, including phone numbers, email addresses, contacts, and WiFi networks. US officials warned that the Chinese government could force the company to share its data.

“We have national security concerns,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said last month. “They include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control the collection of data from millions of users.”

Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, told CBS News this week that the concern is overblown and “leads to good policy.” He said TikTok collects less data than other social media apps and is working to move user data to servers in the US, out of China’s reach.

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