US House administration arm bans TikTok on official devices

The new rule follows a series of moves by US state governments to ban TikTok, 19 states have already blocked the app at least partially.

Tik Tok logo / illustrative (photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)
Tik Tok logo / illustrative
(photo credit: DADO RUVIC/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, and must be deleted from all devices managed by the House.

Moves to ban TikTok

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.

 US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters about the release of WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner by Russia, as Vice President Kamala Harris and Cherelle Griner listen, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 8, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST) US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters about the release of WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner by Russia, as Vice President Kamala Harris and Cherelle Griner listen, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 8, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)

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.