The U.S. House of Representatives is the latest government entity to take aim at TikTok, banning the popular Chinese social media app from House-issued mobile phones.
House Chief Administrative Officer Catherine L. Szpindor sent out a memo, which NBC News obtained Dec. 27. Szpindor said her office’s cybersecurity unit determined that TikTok is a “high risk to users due to a number of security risks,” NBC News reported.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) owns a financial stake and board seat. Chinese ByteDance employees can access detailed U.S. user data.
Both lawmakers and staffers must delete TikTok from their phones and cannot download the app, per the new directive.
NBC quoted the memo, “House staff are NOT allowed to download the TikTok app on any House mobile devices. If you have the TikTok app on your House mobile device, you will be contacted to remove it.”
This comes, NBC said, as a measure banning TikTok on some government devices was included as part of the controversial $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill passed last week by Congress.
But the measure targeting TikTok and any other ByteDance app only applied to executive branch devices, not to Congress. The Senate still hasn’t banned TikTok, but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has called for the U.S. to ban TikTok entirely.
Multiple states have also banned TikTok on state devices, including Virginia, South Dakota and Kansas. FBI Director Christopher Wray has warned about the potential security risks of TikTok, NBC noted.
TikTok also censors heavily. MRC Free Speech America found in August the platform “permanently banned” 11 pro-free speech organizations.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact TikTok via email at email@example.com and demand Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment and provide transparency. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.