All parliamentary devices have been banned from using TikTok.

Parliament has declared that TikTok will be blocked from “all parliamentary devices and the wider parliamentary network” due to cyber security concerns.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Chinese-owned short video app, Shou Zi Chew, is scheduled to appear before Congress to argue against its potential national security threat and defend its economic value and support for free speech.

This appearance will mark the culmination of a week of actions by the company aimed at convincing Americans and their politicians of TikTok’s positive attributes.

Further information has been released regarding the decision to prohibit TikTok on parliamentary devices. The commissions of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords have confirmed that they will be implementing the same measure adopted by the government for official devices.

In a statement, a Parliament spokesperson revealed that TikTok will be banned on all parliamentary devices and the wider parliamentary network, emphasizing the importance of cyber security as a top priority for the institution. However, the spokesperson declined to provide specific details regarding their cyber or physical security controls, policies or incidents.

The CEO of TikTok is confronted with Congress over concerns regarding security.

In a rare public appearance, the CEO of TikTok faced intense questioning from a US congressional committee defending the hugely popular video-sharing app against a potential ban. Shou Zi Chew’s testimony came at a crucial time for the company, which boasts 150 million American users and is facing increasing pressure from US officials, including a recent ban on all parliamentary devices in the UK.

TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have been caught up in a wider geopolitical struggle between Beijing and Washington over trade and technology. Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican, expressed her concern over the national and personal security threat posed by the app and accused TikTok of prioritizing more control, surveillance, and manipulation.

In response, Mr Chew, a 40-year-old Singaporean, assured the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that TikTok prioritizes the safety of its young users and denied allegations that the app is a national security risk. He also emphasized the company’s plan to safeguard US user data by storing it on servers maintained and owned by Oracle. Furthermore, he affirmed that ByteDance is not an agent of any country, including China.

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