House of Reps. Bans TikTok For Security Concerns

Reportedly, TikTok has been prohibited from all devices owned and maintained by the United States House of Representatives.

According to Reuters, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the House contacted all legislators and their staff through email on Tuesday.

Bans Against TikTok

Representatives were instructed to erase TikTok from their devices, owing to the “high risk” posed by many security flaws. In addition, those who have the platform installed on their devices will be asked again to confirm the removal.

Currently, all additional downloads are restricted, said Reuters. The restriction was announced immediately after 19 state governments in the United States blocked the app at least partly from state-managed phones.

A $1.7 trillion omnibus budget measure that prohibits the use of TikTok on executive department devices was also passed by Congress last week.

A representative for the Chief Administrative Officer told reporters on Tuesday, following the passing of the omnibus, which prohibited the use of TikTok on executive branch devices, the CAO collaborated with the Subcommittee on House Administration to develop a comparable regulation for the House.

Additionally, US legislators have pushed to establish a countrywide ban on the app.

Brooke Oberwetter, a representative for TikTok, told Engadget the firm is upset Congress has moved to prohibit TikTok on government devices after the omnibus bill was enacted.

Additionally, Oberwtter described it as a political gesture that will not help national security goals. The US Sun has contacted TikTok for clarification, but has not yet received a response as of publication.

Issue with TikTok

Concerns that Chinese authorities are using TikTok to follow Americans and control material have led to bans on the app. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr requested in June that Apple and Google remove TikTok, due to its habit of covert data abuses.

Carr tweeted the letter’s contents and said TikTok captures vast amounts of sensitive data that, according to new claims, is being viewed in Beijing.

The formal letter, which was sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, cites sources claiming TikTok violates the standards of both app marketplaces.

Carr stated TikTok is an application accessible to millions of Americans via app stores and it gathers huge quantities of sensitive information about these users.

According to Carr, TikTok is controlled by Beijing-based ByteDance, a company “indebted to the Communist Party of China and obligated by Chinese law to cooperate with the PRC’s monitoring requests.”

Shortly before Carr submitted his letter, BuzzFeed released an article alleging recurrent Chinese access to US customer data. More than 80 confidential TikTok sessions were leaked to Buzzfeed reporters.

Their inquiry uncovered at least 14 testimonies from nine different TikTok workers, indicating Chinese engineers had entry to US data between September 2021 and January 2022.

According to Buzzfeed, a member of TikTok’s Trust and Safety division stated, in a September 2021 meeting, “Everything is viewed in China.”

A director, however, referred to a Beijing-based expert as a “Master Admin” who had access to everything.

A TikTok spokesman told The Sun at the time that subsequent BuzzFeed research demonstrates TikTok is doing precisely what it stated it would: resolving concerns around access to US customer data by staff based outside the US.