The White House has given a 30-day deadline to all government agencies to ensure that Chinese-owned app, TikTok, is not present on any federal devices or systems. The ban, which was ordered by Congress late last year, is part of an effort to prevent U.S. data from being compromised. Federal agencies must eliminate TikTok from phones and systems and block internet traffic from reaching the company.
However, this ban does not affect the more than 100 million Americans who use TikTok on private or company-owned devices. ByteDance-owned TikTok has denied using the app to spy on Americans and has called the concerns fueled by misinformation. The ban on devices may add fuel to calls for an outright ban on the video-sharing app. On Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is set to vote on a bill that would give President Joe Biden the authority to ban TikTok from all U.S. devices.
The ban on TikTok follows similar actions from Canada, the EU, Taiwan, and more than half of the U.S. states. The American Civil Liberties Union has opposed a congressional ban on TikTok. The ban does not apply to national security, law enforcement, or security research activities, but such activities require approval from agency leadership. The White House memo stated that agencies must address any use of TikTok by IT vendors through contracts within 90 days, and within 120 days, agencies will include a new prohibition on TikTok in all new solicitations.
Many government agencies, including the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department, had banned TikTok from government devices even before the congressional vote. However, this ban on devices will further affect a tiny portion of TikTok’s U.S. user base, but it will add to the controversy surrounding the app. The action is a part of the Biden administration’s ongoing commitment to securing digital infrastructure and protecting Americans’ privacy and security.
TikTok has been a subject of controversy for a while now. National security concerns about China surged in recent weeks after a Chinese balloon drifted over the U.S. and there were fears that Beijing could use Chinese-owned companies to spy on Americans. Many lawmakers in the U.S. have been taking steps to crackdown on Chinese companies amid these concerns. The ban on TikTok is a result of these fears and is an attempt to safeguard American data from potential security breaches.
In conclusion, the White House’s decision to give government agencies a 30-day deadline to ensure that Chinese-owned app TikTok is not present on any federal devices or systems is a part of its ongoing commitment to safeguarding digital infrastructure and protecting Americans’ privacy and security. The ban follows similar actions from Canada, the EU, Taiwan, and more than half of the U.S. states. The ban on TikTok is a result of fears that Beijing could use Chinese-owned companies to spy on Americans. The ban may add fuel to calls for an outright ban on the video-sharing app.