(LibertySociety.com) – After President Biden signed the omnibus spending bill into law in December 2022, TikTok was officially banned from all federal government devices. The addition to the bill, brought forth by Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, passed with bipartisan support. Now that the law is in effect, the Biden administration has put out a directive, giving all federal agencies 30 days to remove the app from all devices. Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, responded to the directive, saying that “These bans are little more than political theater,” according to Breitbart News.
Senator Hawley has been fervent in his opposition to TikTok, citing national security concerns. However, Democrats also expressed concerns after the FBI Director Christopher Wray testified in November 2022 that there is a possibility of influence operations conducted by the Chinese Communist Party on the app. Senator Michael Bennet, D-CO, sent a letter to the CEO’s of Apple and Google to demand the removal of the app from their app stores back in early February 2023. In addition to Senator Hawley, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has introduced legislation for a nationwide ban of any social media companies beholden to countries that are of concern in the United States.
Mao Ning, a foreign ministry spokesperson for China, also released a statement on February 28th, 2023, highlighting their opposition of the ban, stating that it is wrong to “generalize the concept of national security,” adding that it was suppression of foreign firms and that the U.S. is abusing its state power. The CEO of TikTok is scheduled to testify in late March 2023 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, with the focus being on the apps relationship with the CCP, among other things like privacy as well as security practices. In previous testimony from the head of public policy for the Americas for TikTok, Michael Beckerman, sparred with Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, when he refused to admit that TikTok shares user information with their parent company, Byte-Dance, although their terms and conditions state that they can.
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