The US Senate has once again unanimously voted to ban TikTok from all government-issued phones and other devices.
The “No TikTok on Government Devices Act,” introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), was passed via unanimous consent late Wednesday, meaning that no member objected to the bill. The proposal would “prohibit certain individuals from downloading or using TikTok on any device issued by the United States or a government corporation.”
Sens. Josh Hawley and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) originally introduced the legislation in 2020, citing cybersecurity concerns and “possible spying” by the Chinese government. It passed the Senate unanimously in August 2020, but ultimately stalled after President Trump signed two executive orders that moved to ban the app entirely in the US.
“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party,” Hawley said in a statement. “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. States across the US are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”
“Once again, Sen. Hawley has moved forward with legislation to ban TikTok on government devices, a proposal which does nothing to advance U.S. national security interests. We hope that rather than continuing down that road, he will urge the Administration to move forward on an agreement that would actually address his concerns,” a TikTok spokesperson said.
The Biden administration is currently hammering out an agreement with TikTok to resolve national security concerns. In the meantime, several states have recently moved to ban the app on government-issued devices, including Alabama, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Texas. Nebraska did the same in 2020.
This bill comes just a day after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), introduced a bill completely banning the app in the U.S. because of China’s control over the app’s data.