GOP senator introduces bill banning TikTok on government devices

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Wednesday said he will introduce legislation banning federal employees from using TikTok on government devices.

“This is a necessary step to protect the security of the United States and the data security of every American,” Hawley said during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on big tech’s connections to China.

The legislation comes as several agencies that deal with national security and intelligence issues have completely banned their employees from using TikTok, a social media platform owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance.

However, enforcement of those bans hasĀ been spotty, with many military members, for example, still posting on TikTok.

The short form video platform has exploded in popularity in the U.S., having been downloaded more than 123 million times in the country, but has been met with increasing scrutiny.

Lawmakers and intelligence officials have warned that Chinese law requiring companies to hand over data in investigations means that apps from the company pose a threat to American data security.