House orders immediate removal of TikTok from all devices

The House Tuesday ordered the immediate removal of social networking app TikTok from its devices, according to an email obtained by Fox News.

In the email, House Chief Administrative Office Catherine L. Szpindor wrote to staff members and lawmakers informing them that TikTok is banned “from all House managed devices.” The email says the policy goes into effect “beginning immediately.” 

This message comes after Congress included a bill to ban TikTok from executive branch government devices in the 4,000-plus page omnibus package passed last week. 

The House is now moving to align its policy with the requirements for the executive branch that were included in that legislation. 

TikTok data

(Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (Getty Images / Getty Images)

The email states that The Office of Cybersecurity “deemed The TikTok mobile application to be a high risk to users due to a number of security risks.”

“By way of background, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 requires executive brand agencies to begin removing the social networking service TikTok or any successor application or service developed or provided by ByteDance Limited,” the email states. “The Committee on House Administration has authorized the Office of Cybersecurity to implement a similar policy for the U.S. House of Representatives.”

ByteDance Limited is the Chinese parent company of TikTok.

The measure in the omnibus, known as the No TikTok on Government Devices Act, prohibits use of the social media app on government-issued devices. 

TIKTOK BAN FOR GOV DEVICES INCLUDED IN MASSIVE OMNIBUS BILL

Senator Josh Hawley, R-M.O. advocated for a TikTok ban on government devices to be included in budget bill. (Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS / Reuters)

It was pushed heavily by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who introduced it alongside Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

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“Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget … shall develop standards and guidelines for executive agencies requiring the removal of any covered application from information technology,” the bill says.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR, also advocated for a TikTok ban on government devices to be included in budget bill. (Reuters / Reuters Photos)

VIRGINIA GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN BANS TIKTOK, WECHAT ON STATE NETWORKS AND TECHNOLOGY

The bill carves out “exceptions for law enforcement activities, national security interests and activities, and security researchers,” while noting that for any use falling under those exceptions, government agencies must “develop and document risk mitigation actions for such use.”

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Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

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