Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has signified his intention to have the highly controversial social media app TikTok banned in the U.S. Hawley plans to introduce a senate bill that would end TikTok’s usage in America.
Hawley, who revealed his plan on Twitter, described TikTok as China’s backdoor into the lives of Americans. Hawley added that the social media app threatens the privacy and mental health of Children in America.
.@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
“Last month, Congress banned it (TikTok) on all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide,” Hawley wrote in his tweet.
Hawley was instrumental in getting the Senate to ban the use of TikTok on government devices. Hawley, alongside Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Tom Cotton (R-AK), introduced the measure as part of the 4,115-page omnibus bill. Prior to its addition to the omnibus bill, the measure had also unanimously passed as a stand-alone bill in the Senate.
TikTok will soon be BANNED on all government devices
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 20, 2022
While reacting to the ban, Hawley described TikTok as a “trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party” (CCP).
“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,” Hawley said in a statement. “States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”
ByteDance, a Beijing-based company, owns and runs TikTok. TikTok’s ownership has raised security concerns that the CCP could force ByteDance to turn over American users’ data or expose them to propaganda.
FBI Director Christopher Wray voiced the same concerns while giving a speech at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in December. According to On Fox News, Wray revealed that Chinese officials have extensive access to TikTok’s user data, allowing them to use TikTok for “influence operation.”
“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States,” Wray said. “That should concern us.”