Federal Agencies Given 30 Days to Wipe TikTok From Devices
The White House is giving government agencies 30 days to remove TikTok from all federal devices and systems, Reuters reports.
The Office of Management and Budget calls the guidance, announced Monday, a “critical step forward in addressing the risks presented by the app to sensitive government data.”
In December, Congress passed the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act” amid growing national security concerns over the app’s Chinese parent company ByteDance. App use is still allowed in certain exceptions, including for national security, law enforcement, and security research purposes.
On Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee expects to move forward with a bill that would give President Joe Biden the power to wipe TikTok from all U.S. devices. If passed, the bill would give the administration the authority to eliminate not only TikTok but all software apps it deems a threat to national security.
“My bill empowers the administration to ban TikTok or any software applications that threaten U.S. national security,” Representative Mike McCaul, the committee chair, said in a statement. “Anyone with TikTok downloaded on their device has given the CCP a backdoor to all their personal information. It’s a spy balloon into your phone.”
McCaul has accused the Chinese Communist Party of using the app to “manipulate and monitor its users while it gobbles up Americans’ data to be used for their malign activities.”
Several government agencies including the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department have already banned TikTok from government devices.
Canada also announced a ban on TikTok from government-issued devices starting Tuesday. The app “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” a government spokesperson said in a statement, per BBC.
Last week, The European Union’s two biggest policy-making institutions also banned the app for cybersecurity reasons from staff phones.
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