On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would ban federal employees from downloading or using TikTok on government-provided devices.
The legislation, sponsored by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and backed by GOP Senators Rick Scott (FL), Marco Rubio (FL), and Tom Cotton (AR), passed the chamber by unanimous consent. The bill still needs to be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and President Joe Biden before it could become law. It is unclear whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to vote on the legislation before the end of this term. The bill, titled “No TikTok on Government Devices Act,” previously passed the Senate in August 2020, but never made it to the House.
TikTok critics have long pointed out the company’s links to Communist China as potential vulnerability. “TikTok is a Trojan horse for the CCP. It is a major security threat to the United States and until it is forced to sever ties with Communist China regime completely, it has no place on government equipment,” Hawley said in a statement following the bill’s passage.