US House Administration arm bans TikTok on official devices

Dec 27 (Reuters) – Popular Chinese video app TikTok has been banned from all devices operated by the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the House of Representatives administration, mimicking a soon-to-be-enacted law banning the app for US government devices.

The app is considered “high risk due to a number of security issues,” the House’s chief administrative officer (CAO) said in a message sent Tuesday to all lawmakers and staff, and should be removed from all Chamber-managed devices.

The new rule follows a series of moves by US state governments to ban TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd, from government devices. As of last week, 19 states have at least partially blocked the app from state-run devices over concerns that the Chinese government could use the app to track Americans and censor content.

The $1.66 trillion omnibus spending bill, passed last week to fund the U.S. government through Sept. 30, 2023, includes a provision to ban the app on federally-run devices and will go into into effect once President Joe Biden signs the legislation.

“With the passage of the Omnibus which banned TikTok on executive branch devices, the CAO worked with the Committee on House Administration to implement a similar policy for the House,” it said Tuesday. a spokesman for the chief executive told Reuters.

The message to staff said anyone with TikTok on their device would be contacted to remove it, and future downloads of the app were prohibited.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new rule.

US lawmakers have introduced a proposal to implement a nationwide ban on the app.

Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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