US Senate Committee approves bill banning TikTok for federal employees

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jul 22, 2020, 10:07 PM(IST)

If the transaction happens, it would avoid an outright sale of TikTok while giving a stake in the popular app to Oracle, whose founder Larry Ellison is a prominent Trump supporter. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

This bill was introduced by Republican Senator Josh Hawley and was approved on Wednesday. 

The US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has unanimously voted to approve a bill to ban federal employees from using China's video-sharing app TikTok on government-issued devices. 

This bill was introduced by Republican Senator Josh Hawley and was approved on Wednesday. 

Earlier, a report was released by the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee saying that the United States and its allies have not taken sufficient measures to counter Beijing's efforts at mass surveillance and censorship. 

The 58-page long report warned against China's ''mounting influence'' which will transform into "digital authoritarianism" and very soon it will ''write the rules of the Internet as a leading tech superpower if necessary steps are not taken to halt its progress.''

“Three and a half years into the Trump administration, the United States is now on the precipice of losing the future of the cyber domain to China,'' the report stated.

''If China continues to perfect the tools of digital authoritarianism and is able to effectively implement them both domestically and abroad, then China, not the United States and its allies, will shape the digital environment in which most of the world operates.'' 

The report highlighted China’s use of biometric and facial recognition technology, big data analytics, internet censorship and surveillance of digital communications.

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