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Republicans seek broader TikTok ban

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Derek Draplin

(The Center square) – A bill introduced by a pair of Republican lawmakers seeks a broader ban on the use of the social media platform TikTok in the U.S. 

The legislation directs the president to “block and prohibit all transactions in all property” of ByteDance, which owns TikTok, in the U.S., citing China’s ability to pull user data from the social media platform. 

The bill, which is introduced by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., comes as dozens of states have in recent months banned TikTok’s use on state-owned devices. The app is already banned from some U.S. government-owned devices as part of the omnibus bill signed into law last month.

“Not only is TikTok directly associated with the Chinese Communist Party, but it has been used to spy on Americans and gain an alarming level of access to users’ phones,” Buck said in a statement on Wednesday. “This should concern every citizen who values their privacy, security, and personal information. Banning CCP-tied TikTok nationwide is the only route to ending this malicious cybersecurity threat.”

Hawley added that “banning [TikTok] on government devices was a step in the right direction, but now is the time to ban it nationwide to protect the American people.”

The bill also orders the Director of National Intelligence to brief Congress with a report on the app’s national security threats.