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US federal government bans TikTok from all devices!

The Chinese short-video software TikTok has been blocked from all US federal government devices because it poses a ‘high risk’ security danger. The lone exception is that law enforcement and national security organisations may use the app in exceptional circumstances for security research.

In essence, the ruling implies that roughly four million government employees will be required to delete TikTok from the mobile devices and other devices provided to them. The ByteDance-owned software is forbidden under a clause in the $1.7 trillion budget plan that Biden recently signed.

According to Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, ‘We’re disappointed that Congress has moved to ban TikTok on government devices – a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests – rather than encouraging the Administration to conclude its national security review’.

Notably, the decision was made while a number of jurisdictions around the US released their own regulations outlawing the app. Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, started the process last month by signing an executive order that forbade the use of the app. Noem declared in a statement published on Twitter that ‘South Dakota will take no involvement in the information collection operations of nations which despise us’.

Following that, Texas, North Dakota, Alabama, Utah, and Maryland did likewise. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has previously issued warnings about data breaches through the app. The possibility that the Chinese government may access user data or software via the app is a cause for ‘extreme concern,’ director Christopher Wray told a House hearing.

According to Wray, ByteDance incorporates certain application programming interfaces (APIs) into the software, giving Beijing access to ‘manage data gathering from millions of users or influence the recommendation algorithm’. Donald Trump, the previous president, began the campaign to ban the Chinese app. The executive orders that tried to outlaw the downloads were rescinded by Biden after he took office, though.


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