Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) intends to introduce a bill that would ban the social media app TikTok nationwide.
“[TikTok] is China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives. It threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health,” Hawley tweeted Tuesday morning. “Last month Congress banned it on all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide, he said.
.@tiktok_us 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
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 24, 2023
Hawley has been a longtime critic of the app, citing its connection with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). TikTok is currently owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.
Missouri’s Sen. was the chief author of the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act”, which prohibited the use of the app on any governmental devices.
According to Fox News Hawley stated:
“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices.”
In response, TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter expressed that the congressman is using his position for the wrong reasons.
“We hope that he will focus his energies on efforts to address those issues holistically, rather than pretending that banning a single service would solve any of the problems he’s concerned about or make Americans any safer,” she said.
Additionally, Hawley’s previous bill to ban TikTok on government devices passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support. Support for it emerged after FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that Chinese officials are able to “manipulate content” through the app.
In December, the social media app blasted the Biden administration after Hawley’s bill passed the Senate.
A TikTok spokesperson affirmed:
“It is troubling that rather than encouraging the administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for politically motivated bans that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States.”
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen also stated that the app poses “legitimate national security concerns.”
TikTok’s connection with the CCP has worried many U.S. lawmakers. If Hawley’s nationwide ban on the app successfully passes Congress, it will be a huge step in the right direction.