According to the House’s administration arm, the popular Chinese video app TikTok has been banned from all U.S. House of Representatives-managed devices, mirroring a regulation that will shortly go into effect prohibiting the service from U.S. government devices.
The app is considered “high risk due to a variety of security vulnerabilities,” according to a message sent to all legislators and staff on Tuesday by the House’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and must be uninstalled from any devices managed by the House.
The new law follows a succession of initiatives by state governments in the United States to prohibit TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd, from being used on government equipment. As of last week, 19 states had at least partially prohibited the app from state-managed devices, fearing that the Chinese government could use it to track Americans and restrict material.
The $1.66 trillion omnibus spending package passed last week to fund the federal government through September 30, 2023, includes a clause to prohibit the software from being used on federally managed devices, which will go into effect once President Joe Biden signs the bill 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.
The notice to employees stated that anyone who had TikTok on their device would be approached about uninstalling it, and that further downloads of the app were barred.
TikTok did not reply quickly to a request for comment on the new rule.
Legislators in the United States have proposed a nationwide ban on the app.