US Senate panel okays ban on TikTok for federal govt workers

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on July 24, 2020 Published on July 24, 2020

Apps developed by TikTok’s parent company are also prohibited   -  REUTERS

App will not be allowed in the devices of US Federal workers

A key panel of the United States Senate, in a unanimous decision, approved a ban on the use of Chinese short video message app TikTok for federal workers citing security issues, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

The legislation was first introduced in March by Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri. Now, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted in favour of the legislation.

Under the legislation, TikTok will not be allowed in the devices of Federal workers, officers, lawmakers, contractors, under the No TikTok on Government Devices Act.

This also prohibits the use of any app developed by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. The legislation will now be presented to the Senate floor for a vote by the full chamber.

If the legislation gets approved, it will be merged with an existing version that has already been passed by the House of Representatives, 336-71, as an amendment to the $741 billion National Defence Authorisation Act, the annual defence budget legislation, the SCMP report added.

This will become law if passed in both the chambers.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had recently announced that the US is mulling a ban on the app as Chinese companies are obligated to share user data with the government.

TikTok has come under the radar of various world leaders who have accused ByteDance of violating safety protocols in order to spy on its users. Last month, India banned the app citing security concerns.

According to a report published in the Guardian on Thursday, US tech investors are reportedly trying to buy a majority stake in TikTok to save the company from getting banned in the US. The step may also allay the security fears of the White House.

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Published on July 24, 2020
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