Congress moves to ban TikTok from US government devices

Dec 19, 2022, 5:54 PM | Updated: Dec 20, 2022, 9:06 pm
FILE - The TikTok logo is seen on a cell phone on Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. TikTok would be banned ...

FILE - The TikTok logo is seen on a cell phone on Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. TikTok would be banned from most U.S. government devices under a government spending bill Congress unveiled early Tuesday, the latest push by American lawmakers against the Chinese-owned social media app.  (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — TikTok would be banned from most U.S. government devices under a spending bill Congress unveiled early Tuesday, the latest push by American lawmakers against the Chinese-owned social media app.

The $1.7 trillion package includes requirements for the Biden administration to prohibit most uses of TikTok or any other app created by its owner, ByteDance Ltd. The requirements would apply to the executive branch — with exemptions for national security, law enforcement and research purposes — and don’t appear to cover Congress, where a handful of lawmakers maintain TikTok accounts.

TikTok is consumed by two-thirds of American teens and has become the second-most popular domain in the world. But there’s long been bipartisan concern in Washington that Beijing would use legal and regulatory power to seize American user data or try to push pro-China narratives or misinformation.

Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, called the ban “a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests.” TikTok is developing security and data privacy plans as part of an ongoing national security review by President Joe Biden’s administration.

“These plans have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies — plans that we are well underway in implementing — to further secure our platform in the United States, and we will continue to brief lawmakers on them,” Oberwetter said in a statement.

Speaking Friday, CIA Director William Burns said Beijing can “insist upon extracting the private data of a lot of TikTok users in this country and also to shape the content of what goes on to TikTok as well to suit the interests of the Chinese leadership.”

“I think those are real challenges and a source of real concern,” Burns told PBS. He declined to take a position on congressional efforts to limit TikTok.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was pushing to include the TikTok provision in the big year-end bill, her office said. Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican who authored a version of the TikTok bill that passed the Senate last week, called the government device ban “the first major strike against Big Tech enacted into law.”

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Hawley said users should have the right to use TikTok without having their data subject to Beijing’s control. He called for the Biden administration to force ByteDance to divest its U.S. operations. Courts blocked former President Donald Trump’s efforts to ban TikTok from U.S. smartphone app stores.

“We shouldn’t have to ban it,” Hawley said. “Put up a firewall between Beijing and TikTok.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., has co-sponsored legislation to prohibit TikTok from operating in the U.S. altogether. He called the government device ban an appropriate initial step and said there was a “groundswell of support” for wider action.

“We’re not just talking about Republicans and Democrats and independents,” said Krishnamoorthi, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “We’re talking about parents who are concerned broadly about social media and TikTok in particular.”

___

Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

‘Tiger Mom’ Amy Chua writes first novel, ‘The Golden Gate’

NEW YORK (AP) — Amy Chua, the Yale Law School professor and author sometimes known as “Tiger Mom,” has written her first novel. “The Golden Gate,” a murder mystery centered around a wealthy family in Berkeley, California in 1944, will come out Sept. 19. Chua said in a statement released Monday by St. Martin’s Publishing […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Strongest earthquake in 40 years startles western New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A small earthquake rumbled through western New York early Monday, alarming people in a region unaccustomed to such shaking but apparently causing no significant damage. The U.S. Geological Survey preliminarily reported a 3.8 earthquake centered east of Buffalo in the suburb of West Seneca at about 6:15 a.m. Seismologist Yaareb Altaweel […]
1 day ago
Large advertisements adorn buildings and electronic billboards leading up to the NFL Super Bowl LVI...
Associated Press

Fox sells out Super Bowl ads: crypto out, alcohol in

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox says it has sold out all of its Super Bowl LVII ad space as of the end of January. The big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles takes place on Sunday. The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest stage, with advertisers jockeying to get their products in […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this July 12, 2017 file photo, an issue of the National Enquirer featuring President Dona...
Associated Press

National Enquirer, ensnared in “catch-and-kill” is sold

The National Enquirer, the scandal-plagued tabloid that engaged in “catch-and-kill” practices to bury stories about Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, has been sold. VVIP is also buying the National Examiner and Globe from magazine publisher a360 Media in an all-cash deal, though exact financial terms were not disclosed. In December 2018 the parent company […]
1 day ago
Patriot missile launchers acquired from the U.S. last year are seen deployed in Warsaw, Poland, Mon...
Associated Press

Poland deploys Patriot batteries to capital city, Warsaw

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Patriot missile batteries that Poland acquired from the U.S. last year have been deployed to the country’s capital Warsaw as part of military exercise, according to Poland’s defense ministry. Poland is taking additional steps to strengthen its defensive capabilities as Russia’s war in neighboring Ukraine enters its second year later this […]
1 day ago
FILE - People visit Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on...
Associated Press

Florida to begin session on Disney district, migrant flights

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers will meet Monday to complete a state takeover of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district and expand a migrant relocation program, key conservative priorities of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis ahead of his expected White House run. Republican leaders of the statehouse, in coordination with DeSantis, have ordered the Legislature to […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Congress moves to ban TikTok from US government devices