TikTok Banned Off U.S. House Representatives’ Devices

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The U.S. House is moving forward with removing TikTok on all government devices, a new order demands the app be deleted from every official’s device.

A bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives back in February details, “This bill prohibits Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees and contractors from using the TikTok application on DHS computers or other information technology equipment. It also requires DHS to remove the application from DHS equipment. The bill includes exceptions for law enforcement activities, national security interests and activities, and security researchers.”

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The bill has now hit the stage where the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the House, Catherine Szpindor, has ordered the TikTok removal from all House devices due to its consideration as “high risk due to a number of security issues.” This comes on the heels of a Dec 19 decision to limit the app in 19 states, where the ByteDance Ltd. TikTok app was partially restricted on government computers and devices.

A spokesperson for the CAO continued, “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,” Reuters reports. It’s worth noting the U.S. Senate has never unanimously agreed on almost any issue, but the TikTok government device ban was unanimously voted in on Dec 15, according to Forbes.

Interestingly enough, earlier on Dec 13, U.S. lawmakers went the extra mile to introduce a bid to ban the app in the entire country outright. Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced the bipartisan legislation with the goal of blocking all transactions from any social media company in or under the influence of China and Russia, Reuters says.

TikTok’s response was, “It is troubling that rather than encouraging the administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically-motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States,” according to a spokesp[erson on Dec 13.

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Although U.S. House members are no longer able to have the TikTok app on their government-issued devices, the new order doesn’t stop House members from using the app altogether. While it seems the overall aim is to ban the app outright, according to Senator Rubio, judging from the introductory phase in February to now when actions start happening, more actions regarding this issue are likely further down the pipeline.

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