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TikTok banned from all mobile devices issued by US House of Representatives


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All US House of Representative lawmakers and staffers have been issued a directive to remove TikTok from their government-issued mobile devices in the newest move prohibiting using the Chinese video-sharing platform within the country.

Catherine L Szpindor, the chief administrative officer of the House, reportedly issued the directive, deeming TikTok a “security risk”.

“House staff are NOT allowed to download the TikTok app on any House mobile devices. If you’ve the TikTok app in your House mobile device, you might be contacted to remove it,” the memo said, in keeping with NBC News.

The most recent memo from the House chief administrative officer reportedly also said future downloads of the app are prohibited.

With this move, the US House joins an inventory of presidency bodies within the country to ban using the Chinese platform.

In December, members of the US Senate called for prohibiting all federal employees from downloading or using the ByteDance-owned platform.

The US Congress also proposed a ban on TikTok from most government devices amid spying and censorship concerns surrounding the app in a $1.7 trillion bill unveiled last week.

There was growing bipartisan concern that Beijing may use a few of its regulatory power over Chinese corporations, including ByteDance, to regulate American user data.

Several states within the US, including Maryland, Texas, Georgia and Utah have banned state agencies from downloading and using TikTok following reports alleging that China’s state-backed hackers stole thousands and thousands of Covid relief funds within the US.

“TikTok harvests vast amounts of information from its users’ devices – including when, where, and the way they conduct web activity – and offers this trove of doubtless sensitive information to the Chinese government,” Texas governor Greg Abbott said in a letter to Lt Gov Dan Patrick, Texas Speaker Dade Phelan and state agency leaders.

The app has also been banned by some US universities and colleges, including The University of Oklahoma and Auburn University in Alabama, following the federal government crackdowns against the app.

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

A TikTok spokesperson recently said in a press release that the corporate would proceed to temporary members of the US Congress on its plans “well underway” to “further secure our platform within the US”.

“It’s troubling that relatively 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 can do nothing to advance the national security of the US,” the spokesperson said.

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