IRS noncompliant with Biden administration’s TikTok ban as agency devices can still access app: gov’t watchdog

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The Internal Revenue Service isn’t in compliance with the White House’s directive for federal agencies to remove and block TikTok from all government devices, according to a watchdog for the agency.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, released a report Dec. 18 which found that over 2,800 mobile devices in the hands of the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division can freely access TikTok, adding that 900 criminal investigation employees could access the website through agency computers.

TIGTA also found that 23 mobile devices used by the IRS’s Communications and Liaison group “to monitor social media sites” also had access to TikTok through its website and mobile application.

At the end of February, the White House gave federal agencies 30 days to remove TikTok from all government devices and systems, which came after Congress passed the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act.”

WHITE HOUSE GIVES FEDERAL AGENCIES 30-DAY DEADLINE TO DELETE TIKTOK FROM ALL GOVERNMENT DEVICES

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco issued a stern warning earlier in 2023 about using the TikTok app.

“Any company doing business in China, for that matter, is subject to China’s national security laws, which require turning over data to the state. There is a reason we need to be very concerned,” Monaco said on Feb. 16. “I don’t use TikTok and I would not advise anybody to do so because of these concerns.”

The government watchdog noted in its report that the IRS did take steps to block access to TikTok on 6,300 of its mobile devices. 

NEW POLL SHOWS DRAMATIC DROP IN SUPPORT FOR BANNING TIKTOK AMONG ADULTS AND TEENS SINCE MARCH

TikTok symbol on a smartphone screen

When TIGTA tested whether TikTok could be accessed on IRS devices, the watchdog found that the agency successfully blocked access. The watchdog noted that the 23 devices where the app can still be accessed are considered “unmanaged.”

The TikTok app

The IRS didn’t previously update its “bring your own device” policies to inform employees participating that they also couldn’t access TikTok, the watchdog argued, stating that the agency agreed to update it.

FOX Business reached out to the IRS for comment.

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