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Technology GOP lawmakers reintroduce bill to ban TikTok from government devices

20:15  15 april  2021
20:15  15 april  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Republican lawmakers have reintroduced legislation to ban the video-sharing app TikTok from government devices.

The GOP senators, led by Josh Hawley, R-Mo., echoed sentiments of the Trump administration and alleged that TikTok poses a threat to data security due to its ties to China.

"TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party that has no place on government devices -- or any American devices, for that matter," Hawley said in a statement Thursday. "My bill is a straightforward plan to protect American government data from a hostile foreign power, which, less than a year ago, passed the Senate unanimously."

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  TikTok empowered these plus-sized women, then took down some of their posts. They still don't know why After losing her marketing job due to the pandemic and then gaining 40 pounds, Remi Bader, 25, began spending more time on TikTok. She built up a following by posting about clothing items not fitting her correctly and her struggle to find larger sizes in New York City stores. © Shutterstock New York, United States, 6th January 2021: A woman holds a phone with the TIKTOK logo in her hand. It's one of the most popular social networks at the moment. But in early December, Bader, who now has more than 800,000 followers, tried on a too-small pair of brown leather pants from Zara, and viewers caught a glimpse of her partially naked butt.

a close up of a window © VCG via Getty Images, FILE MORE: TikTok sues Trump administration over US ban

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who co-sponsored the legislation, added that TikTok "poses a potential threat to personal privacy and our national security interests."

"There is absolutely no reason why this application, which Beijing can use to advance its malign foreign policy initiatives, should be utilized on federal devices," Rubio said in a statement. "In its current form, this platform is not safe."

a close up of a light: The logo of TikTok is seen during TikTok art creation forum on March 17, 2021 in Beijing. © VCG via Getty Images, FILE The logo of TikTok is seen during TikTok art creation forum on March 17, 2021 in Beijing.

The original bill, dubbed "No TikTok on Government Devices Act," passed the Senate in August 2020. On Thursday, Rep. Ken Buck, R-Co., said he is introducing companion legislation in the House.

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  Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.The Biden administration on Thursday levied sweeping sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its involvement in the SolarWinds hack and interfering in U.S. elections, which lawmakers hailed as a positive step, but will likely serve to increase tensions between the two nations.

"It is well past time to acknowledge the serious cybersecurity threat that TikTok poses and enact a federal government-wide ban on the Chinese app," Buck said Thursday.

Former President Donald Trump, whom Hawley notably has staunchly supported, attempted to ban TikTok in the U.S. and then tried to force its sale from China-based ByteDance to an American firm.

Trump's actions were met with a lengthy legal battle from TikTok. The former president's attempt to force its sale also courted controversy because of suggestions he made that the U.S. government should receive payment as part of the deal.

Shortly after President Joe Biden took office, The Wall Street Journal reported that a proposed deal to sell TikTok to two U.S. firms had been put on hold by the new administration, citing anonymous sources.

As of April 2021, Beijing-headquartered ByteDance still lists TikTok as one of the products it owns.

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  Overnight Energy: Biden reportedly will pledge to halve US emissions by 2030 | Ocasio-Cortez, Markey reintroduce Green New Deal resolution Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today we're looking at the Biden administration's reported 2030 emissions target, the return of the Green New Deal resolution and an inspector general report that raised concerns about the rulemaking process behind a fuel economy and vehicle emissions rollback.

MORE: Trump says TikTok will be shut down in US on Sept. 15 unless a deal is made

TikTok did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Thursday. The company has aggressively pushed back on allegations that it poses a security threat to the U.S. because of its parent company's ties to China.

TikTok has previously said all U.S. user data is stored outside of China and none of its data is subject to Chinese law. Foreign governments do not have any influence over the platform, according to TikTok.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said in an analysis published last month that TikTok did not appear to exhibit "overtly malicious behavior" and that the level of user data collected by TikTok is similar to other major social media platforms. They admitted, however, that this is not a high bar in terms of privacy standards.

The cyber researchers also said they did not observe TikTok collecting contact lists, geolocation coordinates or recording and sending photos or videos without user permission.

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