Congress has banned the use of TikTok on all House-issued mobile devices, deeming the Chinese app a “security risk.”
The social media platform’s parent company, ByteDance, has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
The ban was announced in a memo on Tuesday that was sent by Catherine L. Szpindor, the chief administrative officer of the House.
Any lawmaker or staffer that already had the app downloaded was ordered to delete it.
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“House staff are NOT allowed to download the TikTok app on any House mobile devices,” the memo said. “If you have the TikTok app on your House mobile device, you will be contacted to remove it.”
NBC News reports, “FBI Director Christopher Wray warned members of Congress after the midterm elections that the Chinese government could use TikTok to control users’ devices for influence or espionage purposes.”
As Gateway Pundit previously reported, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is also moving to try and ban TikTok in the United States.
The Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship, and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act, or ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act, aims to “protect Americans from the threat posed by certain foreign adversaries using current or potential future social media companies that those foreign adversaries control to surveil Americans, learn sensitive data about Americans, or spread influence campaigns, propaganda, and censorship.”
Former President Donald Trump had attempted to ban TikTok while he was in office in 2020, but was blocked. Many, including Democrats, have now admitted that he had been right.
Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, admitted Trump was right during a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday.
The senator told host Shannon Bream, “as painful as it is for me to say, if Donald Trump was right and we could’ve taken action then, that’d have been a heckuva lot easier than trying to take action in November of 2022.”
Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner on TikTok: “I think Donald Trump was right. TikTok is an enormous threat.” pic.twitter.com/8g2fRwxrF7
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 20, 2022
“Did Washington simply not listen because they didn’t like the messenger then and what can we do now?” Bream asked.
“Well, I think Donald Trump was right,” Warner said. “I mean, TikTok is an enormous threat.”
Warner explained that TikTok is “a massive collector of information,” including from children.
“So if you’re a parent and you got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned,” Warner said. “All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing.”
Sen. Tom Cotton also recently sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding information about foreign TikTok employees in the United States.
“TikTok captures vast amounts of private information on users, including American citizens, and has long been suspected of providing the CCP with potential access to that information,” Cotton wrote. “This threatens the safety and security of American citizens, and also functions as an avenue for the Chinese government to track the locations of and develop blackmail on Federal employees and contractors.”