- The House has voted for a bill banning TikTok on federal devices.
- Politicians are concerned the Chinese social network is a security threat.
- A Senate bill is expected to pass soon.
The possibility of a US ban on TikTok just became stronger after a House vote in favor of restricting the social network. Politico reports that representatives voted 336-71 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes an amendment banning TikTok from all federal devices.
Colorado Representative Ken Buck proposed the addition after calling TikTok a â€œserious national security threat.â€� The companyâ€™s data collection could theoretically be used in a cyberattack if shared with the Chinese government, Buck said. Most of the US military has already barred TikTok use for similar reasons.
The ban isnâ€™t guaranteed to become law. The Senate still has to pass its version of the Act later this week, and both sides of Congress will have to reconcile their bills before they can receive the Presidentâ€™s signature. Itâ€™s possible the ban might be altered or removed in the process.
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If the Act does forbid TikTok access, though, it could bring the US closer to a wider ban of the service. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said officials were â€œlooking atâ€� banning general access to Chinese social media apps, and a federal-level move against TikTok would provide fuel for that case.
For its part, TikTok has repeatedly maintained that it doesnâ€™t share data from its app with the Chinese government. Its parent company ByteDance runs an equivalent app, Douyin, within Chinaâ€™s borders. TikTok has made a point of hiring an American CEO and otherwise distancing itself from ByteDanceâ€™s Chinese operations.
Whatever happens, this adds to pressure on the social media giant. India recently banned TikTok and 59 other apps due to its ongoing dispute with China, and it also cited security as a factor. The video sharing service is already poised to lose billions of dollars from the India ban, and it could only get worse if the US follows suit.