House begins process of banning use of TikTok on House-governed devices

 December 28, 2022

Due to "high risk" "security" concerns, the U.S. House of Representatives started barring TikTok use on Tuesday from devices under its control.

The $1.7 trillion omnibus budget measure passed last week included Sen. Josh Hawley's (R-MO) proposed legislation to prohibit the Chinese social networking app TikTok from being used on devices used by the US government, according to a report by Breitbart News.

The bill was backed by both House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

All House members and employees received word on Tuesday that the software will be immediately removed from all smartphones under the control of the House.

“House staff are not allowed to download the TikTok app on any House mobile devices,” the notice read. “If you have the TikTok app on your House mobile device, you will be contacted to remove it.”

“The Office of Cybersecurity has been [sic] deemed The TikTok mobile application to be a high security to risk to users due to a number of security risks,” the notice continued.

The software will need to be removed by more than just the House. All handsets used by the government will no longer have the app.

“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said after the bill passed the Senate.

“States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same,” he said.

Currently, the states of Georgia, Montana, Alabama, and Iowa have banned the app from being used on government devices.

After the midterm elections, FBI Director Christopher Wray alerted Congressmen that the Chinese government could utilize TikTok to manage users' devices for political impact or espionage objectives.

The company said last week it was working to "meaningfully address any security concerns that have been raised at both the federal and state level.

"These plans have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies — plans that we are well underway in implementing — to further secure our platform in the United States, and we will continue to brief lawmakers on them."

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