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UK Parliament bans TikTok from its network

LONDON — U.K. lawmakers will be blocked from using TikTok on any parliamentary networks and devices.

It follows the social media app being banned on all U.K. government devices last week and came just as TikTok’s boss, Shou Zi Chew, began a crunch Congressional hearing in the U.S.

An email sent to MPs at 2pm today said: “Cyber security is a top priority for us all and we believe that this is a necessary step to ensure our parliamentary digital devices remain as secure as possible.”

The ban means no one will be able to access the app on a parliamentary iPad or iPhone or while using parliamentary Wi-Fi.

A TikTok user in Parliament would still be able to access the app on their personal device using their own network’s coverage, but the email advised them to use the web browser version, rather than downloading the app.

The ban applies to both the House of Commons and Lords.

The Scottish government also announced Thursday afternoon that it had decided to ban TikTok on official devices.

“Our decision to prohibit the use of TikTok follows engagement with the U.K. Government on the potential tracking and privacy risks from certain social media apps,” said Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

TikTok has been fighting a rearguard action in recent weeks against a spate of European government and U.S. bans. Under its ‘Project Clover’ campaign, it is trying to convince lawmakers that it does not pose a security threat. In an interview with POLITICO last week, its public affairs boss in Europe hit back at some of the restrictions.

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