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Lawmakers propose universal TikTok ban due to ballooning Chinese surveillance threats
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Lawmakers propose universal TikTok ban due to ballooning Chinese surveillance threats

Legislators have introduced a bill to ban TikTok from being downloaded on U.S. devices after enacting a ban on the video-sharing app for government devices in December.

". . . just banning the app on government devices is not enough. TikTok provides a backdoor for the CCP to spy on all Americans. That’s why we need to ban TikTok on all U.S. devices," Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told Fox Business.

Hawley's No TikTok on Government Devices Act unanimously passed the Senate in December and was enacted the same month.

The No TikTok on Government Devices Act, of course, applies only to government devices, with limited exceptions, and not to ordinary citizens.

Bipartisan concern about the app, owned by CCP-controlled parent company Bytedance, is growing.

"[TikTok is] now working with U.S. intelligence folks to try to make sure that the proper precautions are taken so the Chinese cannot get access and use it for spying," Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan Sunday.

“This is something we have to take seriously,” Booker also said. “It is an issue for American companies who have their secrets stolen. It is an issue that we have to have around our military.”

Sen. Hawley and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) introduced legislation banning TikTok on all U.S. devices on January 25.

"TikTok is a clear threat to our privacy and national security. Not only is TikTok directly associated with the Chinese Communist Party, but it has been used to spy on Americans and gain an alarming level of access to users’ phones," Rep. Buck said in a statement.

"This should concern every citizen who values their privacy, security, and personal information. Banning CCP tied TikTok nationwide is the only route to ending this malicious cybersecurity threat,” Buck continued.

The Guardian characterized recent TikTok-squelching developments as "the west [turning] on genZ's favorite app" in a piece on Sunday. In the article, the authors describe ongoing U.S. and European efforts to overhaul data privacy laws in light of concerns the CCP could or is already accessing citizens' sensitive data.

Meanwhile, an undeterred State Farm is plotting a Super Bowl campaign featuring TikTok star Khaby Lame alongside "Jake from State Farm," AdAge reported Sunday. The marketing play involves a contest in which entrants guess the number of times "State Farm Stadium" is mentioned during the game. The winner is awarded a chance to appear in a video with Khaby.


Win a chance to be in a TikTok with me! All you have to do is 1) guess how many times "State Farm Stadium" could be mentioned during the Big Game in the comments below and 2) follow @jakefromstatefarm to find out who wins! #statefarmstadiumchallenge Rules: st8.fm/bgrules #Ad

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