While the Chinese-owned social media app is increasingly being scrutinized in Washington due to security concerns, the White House has given all federal agencies 30 days to remove TikTok from all government devices.
The guidance, which was released on Monday, is described by the Office of Management and Budget as “a crucial step forward in addressing the vulnerabilities presented by the app to sensitive government data.” The directive instructs the remainder of the federal government to implement limits within 30 days after some departments, such as the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, do so.
TikTok is already not permitted on White House devices.
According to Chris DeRusha, the federal chief information security officer, “the Biden-Harris Administration has aggressively invested in securing our nation’s digital infrastructure and limiting access to Americans’ data by foreign adversaries.” This advice is a part of the administration’s ongoing efforts to secure our digital infrastructure and safeguard the privacy and security of American citizens.
Tik tok time to get impeached …. The world is as slow as some people in power pic.twitter.com/NT4bKUgJ3W— Thor (@Thor34460522) February 22, 2023
As part of a comprehensive government financing package, Congress passed the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act” in December. The law does permit the use of TikTok in specific circumstances, such as the purposes of law enforcement, research, and national security.
“The ban of TikTok on federal devices passed in December without any debate, and regrettably that approach has acted as a template for other governments across the world,” said Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesman for TikTok, on Monday. These restrictions are merely political theater.
A bill that would grant Biden the authority to outlaw TikTok nationally is anticipated to move forward in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Rep. Michael McCaul’s measure seeks to avoid the legal obstacles the administration would have if it pursued sanctions on the social media company.
If approved, the proposal would give the administration the authority to impose a ban on any software program that poses a risk to national security, not only TikTok. The software is being used by the Chinese Communist Party to “manipulate and monitor its users as it gobbles up Americans’ data to be exploited for their malicious purposes,” according to McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
Any user who has TikTok installed on their smartphone has granted the CCP access to all of their personal data. In a statement on Monday, the Texas Republican said that the device was a spy balloon for your phone.
His Senate counterpart, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, would not dismiss the possibility that the body might take up a resolution allowing Biden to take legal action against TikTok, saying it was “absolutely something to examine.”
Oberwetter said: “We hope that Congress would investigate options that won’t have the effect of silencing the voices of millions of Americans when it comes to resolving national security concerns about TikTok beyond government computers.
Two-thirds of youths in the United States use TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance Ltd. Yet, there is growing concern that Beijing might seize control of the user data the app has collected from Americans.
The business has disregarded the federal gadget prohibition and stated that it is creating security and data protection plans as part of the continuing national security review being conducted by the Biden administration.
On Monday, Canada also declared that it was removing TikTok from any mobile devices that were provided by the government. The executive branch of the European Union announced last week that TikTok has been temporarily removed from employee phones as a security precaution.