Josh Hawley Pushing for Nationwide TikTok Ban

Josh Hawley Planning To Push Nationwide TikTok Ban

( – Tiktok, owned by the Chinese-based company ByteDance, has been the subject of several bans across the United States. As of December 2022, more than half the states in the union have taken action against the app on some level. On the 29th of that month, President Joe Biden signed Public Law 117-328, banning the video-sharing app from government devices. Now, one legislator wants to eliminate the app from the US entirely.

On January 24, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced that he was planning to introduce a bill to implement a nationwide ban on TikTok. He called the app “China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives” that threatens children’s privacy and mental health and has no place in US society. The idea piggybacks onto a similar ban he proposed nearly three years ago.

In March 2020, when the app really started to catch on, Hawley introduced the No TikTok on Government Devices Act. It passed with bipartisan support. At the time, the legislator said the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, TSA, and the State Department had already banned the app, citing cybersecurity concerns.

The senator isn’t alone in his TikTok fears. In November 2022, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the agency has “national security concerns” about the app. He stated the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could potentially acquire data from ByteDance and use the information to control the algorithm, what people view, and possibly gain access to Americans’ devices.

Following the director’s declaration, several state leaders banned TikTok from state-owned devices in the interest of safety and security. Many universities have also jumped on board to restrict the platform, including colleges in Alabama, Texas, Montana, Maryland, and others.

Sen. Hawley’s security concerns surrounding Chinese efforts to obtain data from the US span back to 2019 when he grilled witnesses about companies endangering Americans by complying with Chinese laws. Klon Kitchen, a national security and defense technology expert with the American Enterprise Institute, said that US-based companies like Apple pose a risk to American national security.

Hawley officially introduced the bill in the Senate on January 25.

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