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Sen. Josh Hawley to introduce bill to ban TikTok nationwide | U.S. & World

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced his intention to introduce a bill to ban the social media app TikTok nationwide.

Hawley, a longtime critic of the app, views it as a “Trojan Horse” for the Chinese Communist Party. He didn’t say when he would introduce the bill, but he cited Congress’s banning of the app on government devices last week as precedent.

TikTok “is China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives. It threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health. Last month Congress banned it on all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide,” he tweeted.

GET TIKTOK OFF PUBLIC-FUNDED EDUCATION DEVICES

Hawley played a key role in the decision to include a ban of TikTok on state-owned devices as a provision in December’s massive omnibus spending bill.

“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said in a statement at the time, according to Fox News.

“States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same,” he said.

However, TikTok has pushed back on the new proposal, arguing that Hawley’s energy was going to the wrong things.

“Senator Hawley’s call for a total ban of TikTok takes a piecemeal approach to national security and a piecemeal approach to broad industry issues like data security, privacy and online harms,” spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter told Reuters in a statement.

“We hope that he will focus his energies on efforts to address those issues holistically, rather than pretending that banning a single service would solve any of the problems he’s concerned about or make Americans any safer,” she said.

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TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, which has links to the Chinese government. The connection has increasingly worried U.S. lawmakers, many of whom have introduced bans on the app on government devices in different states.

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