Congress just introduced a bill to ban TikTok

Matt Lillywhite

A bill to ban TikTok has recently been proposed by bipartisan lawmakers in Congress. According to a press release, it would ban "all transactions from any social media company in, or under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern." And, of course, the bill specifically mentions TikTok and its parent company, Bytedance.

"The bipartisan bill is the latest move in the US against the company, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance," per the BBC. "The head of the FBI voiced concern that China could use the app to influence users or control their electronics. Several US states have banned it from government devices."

The prospect of a population-wide ban on TikTok isn't farfetched. Some states have already banned government employees from installing it on state-issued phones.

"TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users’ devices – including when, where and how they conduct Internet activity – and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government,” per a letter issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to state agency leaders. “While TikTok has claimed that it stores US data within the US, the company admitted in a letter to Congress that China-based employees can have access to US data. It has also been reported that ByteDance planned to use TikTok location information to surveil individual American citizens."

The letter sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott also cited China’s National Intelligence Law that requires businesses to assist China in intelligence work, including data sharing. Other states, such as South Dakota, Maryland, and South Carolina, have also banned the app from being installed on government-issued devices.

“Protecting our State’s critical cyber infrastructure from foreign and domestic threats is key to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our citizens and businesses,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “Federal law enforcement and national security officials have warned that TikTok poses a clear and present danger to its users, and a growing bi-partisan coalition in Congress is pushing to ban access to TikTok in the United States.”

Ultimately, the decision to ban TikTok rests in the hands of Joe Biden and the United States Congress. But what do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.

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Matt Lillywhite publishes national news and local stories. He can be reached via email at


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