A recent vote in the U.S. Senate resulted in a unanimous approval of a bill that would issue a wholesale ban on the use of the Chinese app TikTok on any devices owned or utilized by the government during this time of growing concerns over national security due to the Chinese-owned social media platform.
First introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the No TikTok on Government Devices Act was finally passed late in the evening on Wednesday.
“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. 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,” expressed Hawley in a release made public Thursday morning. “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.”
Tonight the Senate unanimously passed my bill to BAN TikTok on all government devices
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 15, 2022
This new bill will now be handed over to the House of Representatives for approval before being passed over to the desk of President Joe Biden to be signed into official law.
Christopher Wray, the Director of the FBI, highlighted the security concerns surrounding TikTok as part of a speech issued earlier this month at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us,” expressed Wray.
This move from the Senate takes place in the wake of a growing number of states initiating such bans on TikTok on their own level against any state-issued devices. The three most recent governors to take action to create precautions against TikTok in a series of separate orders that were announced on Tuesday and Wednesday came from the governors of North Dakota, Alabama, and Iowa.
The very first to take strides in this rapidly growing movement was Pete Ricketts, the Republican Governor of Nebraska when he set up a ban against the app for all state devices back in August of 2020. South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem then followed suite and banned the app in November, with a number of other GOP-held states quickly following.
Additional states to have joined the list to enact bans against TikTok include Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. As of writing, a total of ten states have now set up bans, and even more have spoken about creating similar policies soon.