Guest cites security concerns over the China-based app.
Last Friday, Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) introduced legislation to ban the application TikTok on Department of Homeland Security devices. A similar ban has been enforced in the United States military since 2020.
The bill states that no later than 60 days after the date of its enactment, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security, will develop standards and guidelines for the Department requiring the removal of any covered application from information technology of the Department.
“In today’s world, we cannot risk compromising important homeland security information to our foreign adversaries,” Congressman Guest said. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could embolden the CCP’s own expansionary goals. In such a scenario, a security breach would be catastrophic to a U.S. response, which is why we must move to ban on DHS devices the use of apps that obtain data on their users and could make that information available to our adversaries. This is a common-sense step to close a potential tool of the CCP to spy on the U.S.”
The introduced legislation comes eight months after President Biden revoked Trump Administration orders that sought to crack down on the Beijing-based app.
In an executive order from 2021, President Biden announced he revoked and replaced three executive orders that aimed to prohibit transactions with TikTok, WeChat, and eight other communications and financial technology software applications.
“In their place, this E.O. directs the use of a criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to address the risks posed by ICTS transactions involving software applications that are designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons that are owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary, including the People’s Republic of China, that may present an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and the American people,” the executive order stated.
The Commerce Department is reviewing comments on proposed rules that would address potential security risks from TikTok and other foreign-owned apps deemed “by foreign adversaries to steal or otherwise obtain data.”
Comments to this proposed rule were to be received on or before December 27, 2021.
You can read the full bill below.