US Navy bans TikTok from government-issued smartphones

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The US Navy has banned TikTok from government-issued mobile devices, stating that any users who do not remove the app will not de granted access to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

As reported by Reuters, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Uriah Orland said the move was part of an effort to “address existing and emerging threats.” No further information was given as to what danger the app presents. TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny recently because of its ties to China.

The report states:

A Navy spokesman said Naval and Marine personnel who use government-issued smart devices are generally allowed to use popular commercial apps, including common social media apps, but from time to time specific programs that present security threats are banned. He would not give examples of apps that are allowed or those considered unsafe.

The announcement was part of a “Cyber Awareness Message” sent December 16, which “identifies the potential risk associated with using the TikTok app and directs appropriate action for employees to take in order to safeguard their personal information.”

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Senior Democrat senator Chuck Schumer last month urged the government to investigate TikTok, stating the app posed “a potential counter-intelligence threat we cannot ignore.”

It remains to be seen whether other U.S. government departments may follow the Navy’s suit in its response to TIkTok.

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