US Senate Passes Bill Banning TikTok on Govt. Devices

The US Senate passed legislation on Wednesday that would ban the use of TikTok on government devices over concerns that data obtained by the Chinese-owned social media app may fall into the hands of its government.

US Senate Passes Bill Banning TikTok on Govt. Devices
Image credit: Alexander Shatov / Unsplash

Facts

  • The US Senate passed legislation on Wednesday that would ban the use of TikTok on government devices over concerns that data obtained by the Chinese-owned social media app may fall into the hands of its government.
  • The bill still needs approval from the House before going to Pres. Joe Biden. Additionally, the House would need to pass the bill before the current congressional session ends, which is expected to be next week.
  • Support for the bill was largely bipartisan, with both sides of the aisle claiming that TikTok could negatively impact US national security.
  • However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated on Thursday that the House has yet to decide whether it will join the Senate in backing the legislation, saying, "we're checking with the administration - just in terms of language - not in terms of being opposed to the idea."
  • The legislation comes as states across the country have made the decision to ban TikTok on government devices. This week, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, and Utah joined four other states — Maryland, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Nebraska — in issuing such bans.
  • TikTok has been the subject of controversy for years, and in 2020, the Senate also unanimously approved legislation to bar TikTok from government devices. Meanwhile, the company has said concerns regarding its data usage are largely driven by misinformation.

Sources: New York Post, Guardian, FOX News, Reuters, NPR Online News, and Independent.

Narratives

  • Anti-China narrative, as provided by Daily Wire. TikTok is a trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party, and its presence is a major security risk to the US. The company must be forced to sever ties with China completely before it can be allowed on government devices. Besides the fact that TikTok is essentially digital fentanyl for America's youth, it's a direct line for the Chinese government to spy on and influence US citizens.
  • Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. The faux outrage against TikTok is just another facet of the US's anti-China hysteria. TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the world, and it's patently absurd to believe that it's being used as a "trojan horse" against US citizens. It's ironic that American companies, as well as the US government, who constantly spy on US citizens, are now blaming China for the very thing they themselves are guilty of.