US Senate passes a legislation banning TikTok on government-owned devices

Just dance your way out

A new Cold War emerges, and the US has been very wary of China’s sociopolitical moves, which affect Chinese businesses. Both corporate and small ones. The US signed a law banning the social media platform TikTok on government devices. Just like Huawei, the government cited security concerns and data protection, and possible use of espionage by the Chinese government.

The bill, straightforwardly titled “No TikTok on Government Devices Act” was authored first by Republican Senator Josh Hawley, from Missouri. The bill was approved based on unanimous votes. This is the latest move by the US government against the short-form video app. The Chinese government has massive control over TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, which further accelerates the US concern over user privacy among its citizens.

A complementary bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck last year as well. However, this bill is yet to be approved. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that it is still unclear whether the new bill would also be passed by the House. Currently, White House officials are working together to examine the bill’s contents in light of its passage with the senate.

TikTok and the US government are negotiating so that the app can continue to serve US citizens. There were several delays in these negotiations due to years of closed-door talks between TikTok and the US Committee on Foreign Investment.

In the last two weeks, at least seven states have barred public employees from using the app on government devices. These states include Alabama, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Texas. Nebraska banned the app in state devices as early as 2020.

Aside from these states, several government bodies like the US military, State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security have restricted use of the app on government-owned devices. However, this new bill would make this restriction applied in the entire federal workforce.

Source: CNN Business