TikTok, the massively popular video-sharing app, has officially received a wholesale ban on devices issued by the U.S. House of Representatives, as explained in a memo sent out to personnel of the House.
Any and all staff members of the House who currently have the app on a device that is owned by the government are expected to remove the app, as explained in the notice.
TikTok is now considered to be an extremely “high risk to users due to a number of security risks,” as explained by CNN, which was able to get a copy of the notice from the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
This new directive comes as both the Senate and the House both managed to pass the recent $1.7 trillion spending bill, which included a provision that will soon ban TikTok from any government devices once it is signed by the president.
“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,” explained a spokesperson for the Chief Administrative Officer on Tuesday to Reuters.
The new “No TikTok on Government Devices Act” was brought to the floor by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) in the Senate for the purpose of blocking the use of the app on all government devices.
“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,” stated Hawley in a release earlier this month. “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.”
Previously, he brought forth the measure as part of a separate bill that was almost quickly unanimously approved by the Senate.
Pete Ricketts, the Republican Governor of Nebraska, was the first leader from a state to issue a ban against the app on all state devices in August 2020. South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem also elected to block the app this past November, additionally, a total of 14 states now have bans against TikTok on any state-issued devices.
With the app sporting over 100 million users throughout the U.S., TikTok is one of the most popular apps currently in both the Google Play and Apple App stores. The app’s parent company, ByteDance, is based out of China where the communist government reportedly has the power to demand access to the data of any user of the app.
TikTok’s security concerns were highlighted by FBI Director Christopher Wray as part of a speech he was giving at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy earlier this month
“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us,” explained Wray.
This just seems to be another step towards a goal created by bipartisan lawmakers attempting to push through an effort the entirely ban the use of the Chinese app nationwide.