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According to the House’s administration arm, the popular Chinese video app TikTok has been banned from all US House of Representatives-managed devices, mirroring a law that will soon go into effect prohibiting the app from US government devices.
The app is deemed “high risk due to a number of security issues,” according to a message sent to all lawmakers and staff on Tuesday by the House’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and must be removed from all devices managed by the House.
The new rule follows a string of moves by state governments in the United States to prohibit TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd, from being used on government devices. As of last week, 19 states had blocked the app from state-managed devices, citing concerns that the Chinese government could use it to track Americans and censor content.
The $1.66 trillion omnibus spending bill passed last week to fund the federal government through September 30, 2023, includes a provision prohibiting the app from being used on federally managed devices, which will go into effect once President Joe Biden signs it into law.
A representative for the Chief Administrative Officer told Reuters on Tuesday that after the Omnibus passed and forbade the use of TikTok on devices used by the executive branch, the CAO worked with the Committee on House Administration to develop a comparable regulation for the House.
The message to employees stated that anyone who had TikTok on their device would be contacted about removing it, and that future downloads of the app were prohibited.
TikTok did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the new rule.
American legislators have suggested outlawing the app entirely.