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US House administration arm bans TikTok on official devices

US House administration arm bans TikTok on official devices
TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken on Aug 22.
PHOTO: Reuters

The popular Chinese video app TikTok has been banned from all US House of Representatives-managed devices, according to the House's administration arm, mimicking a law soon to go into effect banning the app from 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 to all lawmakers and staff on Tuesday (Dec 27), and must be deleted from all devices managed by the House.

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-managed 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 US government through to Sept 30, 2023, includes a provision to ban the app on federally managed devices, and will take effect once President Joe Biden signs the legislation into law.

"With the passage of the Omnibus that banned TikTok on executive branch devices, the CAO worked with the Committee on House Administration to implement a similar policy for the House," a spokesperson for the Chief Administrative Officer told Reuters on Tuesday.

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

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

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

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