According to reports, The House Foreign Affairs Committee intends to vote next month on a bill aimed at blocking the use of the wildly popular social media app TikTok in the United States,
Reuters is reporting that Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee aims to give the White House the legal tools to use national security concerns as a means of banning the use of TikTok in the United States.
“The concern is that this app gives the Chinese government a back door into our phones,” McCaul told Bloomberg News.
TikTok responded to the latest developments in a statement issued to Fox saying:
“Calls for total bans of TikTok take a piecemeal approach to national security and a piecemeal approach to broad industry issues like data security, privacy, and online harms. We hope that lawmakers will focus their energies on efforts to address those issues holistically, rather than pretending that banning a single service would solve any of the problems they’re concerned about or make Americans any safer.”
Former President Donald Trump attempted to block new users from downloading TikTok in 202o but was unsuccessful in a series of court battles over the measure.
Last month legislation was passed banning federal employees from using or downloading TikTok on government-owned devices. Similar policies have been rolled out in more than 25 U.S. states banning the use of TikTok on state-owned devices.
.@tiktok_us 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
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 24, 2023
Getting enough votes to ban the popular TikTok app from its 100 million users in the U.S. users could be a difficult task. For the past few years, the company has sought to assure the U.S. government that personal data cannot be accessed and content cannot be manipulated by China’s Communist Party or any other entity under Chinese government influence.