GOP Lawmakers Hawley, Buck Introduce Bills to Ban TikTok From All US Devices

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Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) connected Jan. 25 introduced the “No TikTok connected United States Devices Act” to prohibit the Chinese-based app from being downloaded connected each U.S. devices and prohibition commercialized transactions with ByteDance, TikTok’s genitor company.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) has introduced a companion authorities successful the House.

In caller months, much than fractional of U.S. states person moved to prohibition TikTok from authorities devices, and dozens of U.S. schools and universities person moved to prohibition it from their strategy devices, with the authorities of Maine and the University of Wisconsin being the latest to bash so.

“TikTok poses a menace to each Americans who person the app connected their devices,” Hawley said successful a statement. “It opens the doorway for the Chinese Communist Party to entree Americans’ idiosyncratic information, keystrokes, and determination done assertive information harvesting. Banning it connected authorities devices was a measurement successful the close direction, but present is the clip to prohibition it nationwide to support the American people.”

josh hawley Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) astatine a proceeding connected Capitol Hill successful Washington connected Sept. 13, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Hawley had antecedently introduced the “No TikTok connected Government Devices Act,” which was signed into law successful 2022.

“TikTok is simply a wide menace to our privateness and nationalist security,” Buck said successful a statement. “Not lone is TikTok straight associated with the Chinese Communist Party, but it has been utilized to spy connected Americans and summation an alarming level of entree to users’ phones.

“This should interest each national who values their privacy, security, and idiosyncratic information. Banning CCP tied TikTok nationwide is the lone way to ending this malicious cybersecurity threat.”

Epoch Times Photo Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) successful an interrogation connected NTD’s Capitol Report programme connected June 17, 2022. (NTD)

He said the legislation, if passed, volition “ensure that each Americans’ privateness and information is protected from hostile overseas entities.”

The latest projected authorities (pdf) from Hawley would nonstop the U.S. president to artifact and prohibit commercialized enactment with TikTok’s genitor institution ByteDance, a Chinese institution that moved its office to Singapore successful 2020. Evading specified sanctions would incur dense penalties.

If the authorities is signed into law, wrong 120 days, the manager of nationalist quality is required to taxable a study and update Congress connected TikTok’s threats to nationalist security.

This would see reporting connected however the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tin entree U.S. idiosyncratic data; however it tin usage specified information for quality oregon subject purposes, which could see surveillance, microtargeting, deepfakes, oregon blackmail; and ongoing efforts by the CCP to show oregon manipulate Americans done the usage of the information entree via TikTok.

TikTok has agelong been the taxable of legislature scrutiny owed to its ties to the CCP and its signifier of sending idiosyncratic information to ByteDance employees located successful China.

CCP laws classify information arsenic a nationalist assets and mandate that companies located successful China oregon majority-owned by Chinese entities indispensable manus implicit each information to the authorities upon request, including proprietary root codification and different intelligence property.

While TikTok has previously said that each U.S. idiosyncratic information is stored wrong the United States, it has since admitted that this is not true. In a September 2022 legislature hearing, TikTok executives refused to perpetrate to stopping the travel of American information to China.

Federal Communications Commission subordinate Brendan Carr successful aboriginal November said TikTok should beryllium banned from the United States entirely, saying it is intolerable for U.S. officials to corroborate the CCP does not person entree to TikTok users’ data.

TikTok roseate successful popularity successful the United States successful 2017 aft ByteDance acquired Chinese-owned societal media institution and paired its Santa Monica bureau with TikTok.

TikTok did not pass U.S. officials astir the merger contempt some companies’ ties to China, autarkic investigative writer Geoffrey Cain told The Epoch Times’s “American Thought Leaders” successful September 2022.

“There are galore reddish flags, but the biggest reddish emblem astir this acquisition is that TikTok did not notify the U.S. authorities astir the acquisition,” Cain said. “That should dependable alarm bells. Why did TikTok determine not to bash that review? It’s arsenic if they benignant of snuck into the marketplace and placed their bundle successful the hands of the adjacent generation.”

Andrew Thornebrooke contributed to this report.