The app was banned from government-issued phones due to security concerns.
It’s no secret that the United States government has beef with popular social media platform TikTok due to its Chinese origins. Some efforts have been made in the past several years to ban the app wholesale in the US, but none of these efforts have stuck due to a lack of evidence. However, while the government can’t ban TikTok on the phones of the general citizenry, it can ban it on the phones of its direct employees.
According to an internal memo sent to members of the US House of Representatives obtained by CNN, TikTok has been banned on all House-managed smartphones out of security concerns. Any House member or employee with the app on their House-managed phone will be asked to delete it immediately. This follows several proclamations made by state governments in recent weeks banning the app on government-issued devices, and the upcoming omnibus bill also contains a proviso that would ban the app on the phones of federal government employees.
NEW: The U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on House Administration, has authorized the removal of TikTok from all House devices.
Citing numerous risks, the House’s Chief Administrative Officer issued a notice banning the app from House mobile devices effective immediately pic.twitter.com/AC3ou9F0Zj
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) December 28, 2022
While no concrete evidence of security tampering from the Chinese government in TikTok has been found, federal investigators have expressed concerns that that could change should China attempt to put direct pressure on the app’s parent company, ByteDance. ByteDance is still in the midst of negotiating agreements with the government to ensure their app’s continued usage in the US.