Just over five years ago, TikTok didn’t exist. Now, it’s the world’s most popular app. The video-based software allows users to post short, catchy videos to the platform and share them with the world. However, TikTok has come under considerable scrutiny in the United States because of its Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance. Experts, including the FBI, warn the app could pose major national security threats. With this in mind, the US Senate just moved to ban TikTok from federal devices.
On Wednesday, December 14, the Senate unanimously voted to ban TikTok from federal government-issued devices, such as cell phones. While the bill must make it past the House and obtain President Joe Biden’s signature to become law, the legislation already shows a major shift in Capitol Hill’s willingness to ban the app. President Donald Trump tried to ban it completely in 2020, but that push was unsuccessful.
This move from the Upper Chamber comes as many states are doing the same within their governments. Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) signed an executive order on Wednesday, banning TikTok from all state-issued devices, citing the threat of the communist Chinese government as his reasoning. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) issued a near-identical order on Thursday, December 15, to keep the video-sharing app off state employees’ cell phones and laptops.
These are just two of the many states that have banned the app, and now it seems the federal government is on board.