Congress voted to pass the latest massive spending bill and, as expected, it’s stuffed with lots of hidden provisions – like a ban on TikTok.
The gargantuan $1.7 trillion package passed and one of the notable pieces is a ban on TikTok on government owned and used devices (via the AP).
The ban would block most access to the popular video platform on government devices, or any other app made by developer ByteDance. Furthermore, the ban would apply to the executive branch, but there are exemptions for “national security,” law enforcement, and “research purposes.”
Curiously, the Congress itself isn’t blocked by the ban, though several lawmakers do have TikTok accounts.
TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter called the ban “a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests.” TikTok is reportedly making new security and privacy plans for a national security review under Joe Biden’s admin.
“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.
TikTok has grown into a popular video platform, with two-thirds of American teens browsing it freely. China, on the other hand, limits access to the platform for minors, and also limits what types of content they can watch.
Coming from this, US lawmakers have become concerned China could use the crazily popular site to push propaganda for China, steal American user data, or even spread misinfomation. A recent report also confirmed TikTok actually spied on American journalists.
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