The popular video-sharing app TikTok has been banned from devices issued by the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a notice sent to House personnel.
Any House staff members who currently have the app installed on a device owned by the government are expected to remove the app, according to the notice.
TikTok is considered a “high risk to users due to a number of security risks,” according to CNN, which obtained a copy of the notice from the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.
The new directive comes as the House and Senate both passed the recent $1.7 trillion spending bill, which included a provision that will soon prohibit TikTok from government devices once it is signed by the president.
“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 “No TikTok on Government Devices Act” was introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) in the Senate in an effort to prohibit the app’s use on government devices.
“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said in a statement earlier this month. “States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”
He previously introduced the measure as a separate bill that was unanimously approved by the Senate.
Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts was the first state leader to ban the app on state devices in August 2020. South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem blocked the app in November, and at least 14 states now ban TikTok on state-issued devices.
With more than 100 million users in the U.S., TikTok is one of the most popular apps in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. TikTok’s ByteDance company, however, is based in China where the communist government reportedly has the ability to access user data.
FBI Director Christopher Wray noted TikTok’s security concerns during a speech at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy earlier this month.
“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us,” Wray said.
A group of bipartisan lawmakers is also leading an effort to completely ban the use of TikTok nationwide.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the legislation in the Senate this month. Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced companion legislation in the House.
Former President Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban TikTok in 2020. The order never went into effect, with Biden revoking the order and replacing it with a different executive order in 2021.
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the new decision by the House of Representatives.