Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri says he plans to introduce legislation that would ban TikTok throughout the country over fears the China-linked video-streaming platform is a privacy and security risk.
Mr. Hawley, a Republican, tweeted Tuesday that TikTok “is China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives. It threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health. Last month Congress banned it on all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide.”
If passed, the ban would be a major escalation of efforts to restrict the platform, which is commonly used by young people to post short skits, dances and other content.
Many governors in both parties have banned TikTok from state-government devices.
Congress used a year-end omnibus funding package to prohibit TikTok on federal devices, with exceptions for ‘law enforcement activities, national security interests and activities, and security researchers.”
Fears that Americans’ data on TikTok is in jeopardy of falling prey to the Chinese government contributed to the Trump administration’s review of the platform and desire to restrict its operation in the U.S.
The ban was stopped in court, but the Biden administration maintained the review of the platform.
Alongside governments, institutions such as the University of Oklahoma have joined the long list of entities banning the platform on their networks and devices.
TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has denounced the bans as ‘politically motivated” and says the restrictions won’t advance the national security of the U.S.