Home TikTok at your own discretion: Site banned in several states on government devices

TikTok at your own discretion: Site banned in several states on government devices

Rebecca Barnabi
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Amid increasing fears of the Chinese Communist Party spying on Americans through TikTok, the U.S. Senate passed legislation Wednesday prohibiting federal employee access of the Chinese-owned social media site on government-owned devices.

The U.S. House must pass the legislation before it goes to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner has raised concerns for more than a year about the social media site. Owned by ByteDance, Warner has cautioned that Chinese-owned companies are loyal first to the CCP.

This week North Dakota and Iowa joined a growing list of states in the U.S. that have banned access to TikTok on government-issued devices. Maryland, South Dakota, Texas, Alabama and Utah are on the list. According to CNN Business, Nebraska banned TikTok on government devices in 2020.

“We’re disappointed that so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies based on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States,” the company said Wednesday.

The No TikTok on Government Devices Act was authored by Missouri’s Sen. Josh Hawley in 2020. Hawley reintroduced the bill in 2021. Many federal agencies have already banned TikTok, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

According to MSN, the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ordered ByteDance to divest Tiktok in 2020 for fears of the Chinese government gaining access to U.S. user data. ByteDance has not followed through with the order, and talks continue to reach a national security agreement, but that does not seem possible in 2022. TikTok has 100 million users.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.