The Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday that would forbid the use of the wildly popular social media platform TikTok on any federal devices.
The passage of the bill, sponsored by Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., follows in the footsteps of actions several federal agencies, including the U.S. Army, Transportation Security Agency, State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, have already taken to ban TikTok from use on government devices.
The House also included a similar measure in its version of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, suggesting it’s favorable of moving legislation banning the app from federal devices.
“In light of all we know, it is unthinkable to me that we should continue to permit federal employees, those workers entrusted with sensitive government data, to access this app on their work phones and computers,” Hawley said in a statement. “I’m encouraged by the bipartisan support we have seen in this body to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable and that includes, by the way, holding accountable those corporations who would just do China’s bidding. And, if I have anything to say about it, we won’t be stopping here.”
TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has faced a bumpy road in recent days after President Trump threatened to ban the platform’s use in the U.S., alleging national security risks from the firm’s ties to the Chinese government. Since then, Microsoft has stepped in with an offer to buy TikTok’s operations in the U.S., and potentially elsewhere.