HomeNewsUS govt devices banned from using TikTok over concerns of China's interference

US govt devices banned from using TikTok over concerns of China’s interference

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The image shows the TikTok logo on a mobile device with the US flag in the background. — AFP/File

New York City banned the use of TikTok on government-owned devices due to rising security concerns related to China’s interference with the app.

New York is just one of several US cities and states that have previously put such restrictions on the short video-sharing app owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance.

Recently, there have been increasing calls from American lawmakers for a national ban on TikTok, which is used by more than 150 million Americans.

The calls for a ban were prompted by concerns over potential Chinese government interference.

TikTok “posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks,” the administration of New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement

Government employees will no longer have access to the app and its website on city-owned devices and networks if the app is not removed by New York City agencies within 30 days. 

However, TikTok has already been prohibited on state-issued mobile devices in New York.

TikTok said it “has not shared, and would not share, US user data with the Chinese government, and has taken substantial measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok users.”

Top US security officials including FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director William Burns have said TikTok poses a threat, reported NDTV

TikTok “screams” of national security issues and the Chinese government could use it to manipulate software on millions of devices and promote narratives that divide Americans, Wray added.

In 2020, former President Donald Trump attempted to ban new TikTok downloads, but a slew of court rulings prevented the ban from going into effect.

TikTok usage on government-owned smartphones is forbidden in many American states and towns. Recently, Montana enacted a law that will outlaw the app statewide on January 1, but the law is currently being contested in court.

According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos study issued on Wednesday, over half of American adults support a ban on TikTok.

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