US Government devices prohibited from using TikTok amid concerns of Chinese influence

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Due to increasing security apprehensions regarding China’s involvement with the app, New York City implemented a ban on the use of TikTok on government-owned devices.

New York joins a list of several other US cities and states that have previously restricted the usage of the Chinese-owned short video-sharing platform, TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance.

American lawmakers had been urging for a nationwide TikTok ban, citing concerns about potential interference by the Chinese government.

The administration of New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated that TikTok poses a security threat to the city’s technical networks, leading to the decision to prohibit the app’s usage on government devices.

As part of the new restrictions, government employees will no longer be able to access TikTok on city-owned devices and networks if the app is not removed by New York City agencies within the next 30 days.

It’s worth noting that TikTok had already been banned on state-issued mobile devices in New York.

TikTok responded by emphasizing that it had not shared, nor would it share, user data with the Chinese government. The platform took significant measures to ensure user privacy and security.

High-ranking US security officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director William Burns, expressed concerns about TikTok’s potential threats. They believe that TikTok could be exploited by the Chinese government to manipulate software on numerous devices and promote divisive narratives among Americans.

Former President Donald Trump attempted to ban new TikTok downloads in 2020, but the ban was blocked by court rulings.

TikTok faced restrictions on government-owned smartphones in multiple American states and municipalities. Montana, for instance, passed a law banning the app statewide, effective from January 1, although legal challenges are ongoing.

A recent Reuters/Ipsos study revealed that more than half of American adults support a ban on TikTok.