TikTok is now banned on devices used in the US House of Representatives


The House is ahead of the new requirements which should be launched by mid-February


It’s quite common to see social media apps come and go like fads, but very rarely does a service have the power of TikTok. After initially booming following its Musical.ly acquisition, TikTok has combined Vine and YouTube to become one of the most popular apps to ever hit smartphones. As a Chinese-owned app, it has also been a lightning rod for controversy – and not just during the Trump administration. Now, following a spy scandal, the US government is taking a step forward by scaling back enforcement.

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As CNN reported, Congress effectively banned the installation of TikTok on any government-owned device. First, the US House of Representatives banned the installation of TikTok on gadgets it administers earlier this week, citing “high risk to users” over potential security risks. It’s a move best seen as a preamble for what’s to come for ByteDance.

Yesterday, President Biden signed a $1.7 billion omnibus spending bill, which also included an anti-TikTok stipulation. As Engadget notes, the omnibus will require the Biden administration to establish rules regarding the removal of the app from most government devices by mid-February. Despite exceptions for elected officials and congressional staffers, the House ban eliminates this exclusion. Home members who install TikTok on managed devices will be prompted to remove the software.

The moves come just days after ByteDance fired four employees for the unauthorized tracking of two Forbes journalists. Pressure has continued to mount for the US government to take action against TikTok and its parent company, although to date only those Congressional-focused measures have passed. While legislation has been proposed that would ban TikTok from devices entirely in the US, it’s unclear whether it has a chance of making it through the House and Senate.