A new law banning TikTok from government devices will go into effect at the end of February, but lawmakers are questioning how enforceable the law really is.
- In December, Congress passed a law prohibiting the Chinese-based social-media app TikTok from government employees’ work devices.
- While the law doesn’t go into effect until February 27, Senator Josh Hawley is asking how this new rule can be enforced.
- Hawley wrote to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is responsible for enforcing the law, asking for an update and claiming that progress has yet to be made.
- Hawley is one of several Congressional members who want to ban TikTok outright in the U.S.
- While a TikTok ban has some support from lawmakers, there are few details about how an all-out ban would be enforced.
Why it’s news
Hawley has asked OMB to produce a description of how it will enforce the new law by February 5. He has also asked the agency to provide updates on intelligence it receives that could affect how the law is enforced.
While there are many steps that need to be taken before the U.S. can issue a nationwide TikTok ban, lawmakers like Hawley and Representative Ken Buck are working toward more significant restrictions on the app. On Wednesday, Hawley and Buck introduced a bill that would restrict transactions with Tiktok.
Others, like Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Senator Mark Warner, agree that the government needs to take action on TikTok but hesitate to ban a single app. Warner has suggested that a specific category of apps should be restricted instead, Axios reports.
“I’m moving toward legislation that would create a ban, but how you do this is going to be really important … I think you have to have a theory of the case that’s broader than a single use. I have some distinct ideas I’m not ready to share yet. It’d be better to say we are concerned about this category of applications rather than a specific single app,” Warner says.
TikTok is already banned in multiple states after security concerns surrounding the app have caused government officials to call for the app to be banned.