The United States Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that would prohibit the social media app TikTok from being used on federal government devices because of concerns about the app’s and its Chinese-owned parent firm ByteDance’s data security.
TikTok removal from devices owned by the government
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The government is concerned about the data security of the programme TikTok and its parent business ByteDance, therefore the United States Senate unanimously supported a bill that would prohibit federal employees from using the app on any devices owned by the government.
GOP Senator Josh Hawley reportedly introduced this legislation, according to CNET. The bill needs to be approved by the House and signed by President Joe Biden before it can become law.
This comes after similar actions by federal departments like the State Department and Department of Homeland Security. Due to security concerns, a number of states have also prohibited the application on state-owned smartphones.
Hawley declared: “TikTok is the Chinese Communist Party’s Trojan Horse. It poses a serious security threat to the United States, and unless it is compelled to break all relations with China, it has no place on official equipment.”
According to the bill, the director of the Office of Management and Budget will be required to create standards and directives for executive agencies to remove TikTok from these devices, with the exception of activities related to law enforcement and national security.
According to a statement that was made following the Senate’s passage, according to CBS News, the measure does nothing to enhance the interests of the United States’ national security. In the statement, it was stated, “We hope that rather than continuing down that route, he will urge the Administration to advance on an accord that will really meet his concerns.
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Many States have issued TikTok bans.
The use of the programme on state-owned smartphones has already been prohibited by many governments, particularly Republican states, starting in 2020. These include Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Maryland, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas.
According to a report from Engadget, Georgia is the newest state to prohibit TikTok from being used on equipment owned by the government. Governor Brian Kemp forbade state entities from using WeChat and Telegram in addition to TikTok.
According to Kemp, “The state of Georgia has a responsibility to prevent any attempt by foreign adversaries such as the Chinese Communist Party to access and penetrate its secure data and sensitive information.”