House Republicans are reportedly drafting legislation to ban federal employees from using the Chinese social media platform TikTok.
Speaking with the Daily Caller News Foundation, a Republican aide confirmed the news, stating: “We’re working on something right now.”
The proposal is reportedly proceeding through the House Judiciary Committee before the next Congress is sworn in in January, when Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is set to take over as chairman of the committee as Republicans will now be in the majority in the House.
TikTok is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, which is required by Chinese law to share all data with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) upon request.
“TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. This is not a state-owned enterprise, but in China, no company is truly private. Under the country’s 2017 National Intelligence Law, all citizens and businesses are required to assist in intelligence work, which includes sharing data,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) noted in a press release about the issue.
Republican lawmakers, as well as several Democrats, have expressed concerns over the security risks posed by the social media app — especially after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stated that it could not regulate TikTok and its data flow back to communist China.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the only bipartisan issue in the country is that America should ban TikTok and yet it isn't happening.
Find ONE person in Congress or the Biden administration arguing TikTok should stay. I want names or I want some news explaining the holdup.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) November 21, 2022
According to reporting from Newsmax, “TikTok officials have since told the FCC that the company is confident that it can reach an agreement with the federal government regarding national security concerns; however, leaked audio obtained by BuzzFeed News earlier this year showed that China had accessed U.S. TikTok user data for months while U.S. employees did not have access themselves.”
Meanwhile, some Republican lawmakers have taken their concerns over the social media app one step further. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) have called for completely banning TikTok in the United States, even introducing legislation to do so.
The Republican lawmakers warned that the CCP are using TikTok to “subtly indoctrinate American citizens.”
“TikTok is a major threat to U.S. national security,” Rubio and Gallagher said in a statement.
“Unless TikTok and its algorithm can be separated from Beijing, the app’s use in the United States will continue to jeopardize our country’s safety and pave the way for a Chinese-influenced tech landscape here,” the statement continued.
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) November 28, 2022
The news of a potential ban on federal employees using TikTok comes soon after South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) issued an executive order banning the use of the Chinese social media platform by all state government employees and contractors using official devices.