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TikTok faces legislation that aims to ban U.S. government workers from using the video-sharing app

Two Republican senators and a Democratic congresswoman both target the Chinese-owned app

U.S. lawmakers are concerned about government employees making TikTok videos.

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7073彩票注册TikTok has been targeted this month by Republican and Democratic lawmakers, in a fresh sign of the national-security concerns that Washington has with the popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app.

7073彩票注册GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri announced on March 4 that he planned to introduce legislation that would ban all federal employees from using the app on government devices, as he said TikTok previously sent user data to China.

7073彩票注册“This is a necessary step to protect the security of the United States and the data security of every American,” , speaking at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism.

The senator noted that the Pentagon, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration already have banned all of their employees and service members from using TikTok on government devices. The TSA last month also stopped allowing employees from using the app to create social-media posts for the agency after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, raised concerns.

7073彩票注册Hawley, joined by Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, formally rolled out the legislation on Thursday. “The use of apps like TikTok by federal employees on government devices is a risk to our network and a threat to our national security, and I’m proud to join Senator Hawley to put an end to it,” .

Meanwhile, the House on March 5 voted 230-171 for a that featured a TikTok-related amendment from Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.

The amendment “would codify the administration’s ban on TSA employees using or installing the app TikTok on their government-issued phones,” , a former CIA operations officer, on the House floor on that day. “While to some TikTok may seem like a harmless app, TikTok presents a significant counter-intelligence threat.”

7073彩票注册As lawmakers and government agencies take aim at TikTok, its Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance Ltd., has been hiring lobbyists in Washington, disclosing in last year’s second half. The company also has considered setting up a , and it even reportedly has weighed a , though it has denied that there have been talks about selling.

7073彩票注册When asked about Hawley and Spanberger’s moves, a TikTok spokesman last week noted his colleagues’ efforts to talk with members of Congress.

7073彩票注册“While we think the concerns are unfounded, we understand them and are continuing to further strengthen our safeguards while increasing our dialogue with lawmakers to help explain our policies,” the TikTok spokesman said. “We recently reached out to several members of Congress to express an interest in meeting in the near future.”

The spokesman also pointed to TikTok’s previous statements on data security, including one that said all American user data is , with backups in Singapore and no data centers in China. TikTok last week said it had hired payroll processor ADP Inc.’s ADP, -2.66% chief security officer as its .

This is an updated version of a story first published on March 6, 2020.

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