Republicans Call for a TikTok Ban in Both Chambers

( – Republicans from the legislative branch called on Senate and House leaders on Monday morning to bar lawmakers from using Chinese social media platform TikTok, following a tense debate over whether to ban it at a federal level.

In a letter to rules and administration leaders in the House and Senate, a group of Republican lawmakers led by Representative Dan Crenshaw from Texas and Senator Thom Tillis from North Carolina urged to amend both chambers’ rules to make this happen. They also said that any other appropriate method should be executed to mitigate the risks of Tiktok, which they described as a “de-fact spyware app.”

The letter was also signed by two other Republican senators and 13 other members of the House. It cites numerous security concerns over the Chinese social media platform, which experts have been pointing out it delivers personal data about its users to China’s Communist Party.

The lawmakers explain in the letter that members of Congress must stop using TikTok for official communications after the testimony from the company’s CEO Shou Zi Chew, which they considered to be concerning. The lawmakers added that even after the hearing where Shou delivered his testimony, it became clear that the social media platform is “spying on American citizens” and mining data from all users, being the reason why members of both chambers must stop utilizing it.

Following Shou’s appearance in front of Congress in March, the Chinese company said it didn’t have any type of relationship with the Chinese regime and has never provided any information about its users. However, US lawmakers continued to push for more restrictions on Tiktok, including a federal ban.

Different states have already taken steps to prohibit the use of this platform for government communications devices. Lawmakers from Montana became the first in the country to vote to ban TikTok in the state.

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