China-Owned TikTok Now Banned on US Government Devices

A new ban prohibits the use of TikTok by the federal government’s nearly 4 million employees on devices owned by its agencies, with limited exceptions for law enforcement, national security and security research purposes.

The ban comes after a wave of actions against the viral video app in recent weeks amid mounting security concerns raised by media reports, China hawks and politicians. Given the increasing scrutiny of TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, it could be just the beginning of challenges to come for the app. . . .

. . . . .TikTok has been the target of numerous government and institutional bans in the past month. The House on Monday banned it from any work mobile phones. At the state levels, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, banned it on state phones and computers, as did about a dozen other Republican-led states including Alabama, Georgia and Virginia.

And some of the state bans apply not just to state government employees, but also to students and anyone else using campus Wi-Fi at state schools such as the University of Oklahoma and Auburn University in Alabama — part of TikTok’s core user base in the U.S.

The wave of bans could be just the beginning of the challenges that TikTok could be looking at in the next year, according to national security analysts and tech policy advocates. An actual U.S. ban of the app for all citizens may still be unlikely and in the end unworkable, but the app’s critics are promising a fight nonetheless.

“I have serious concerns with any app that poses a risk to Americans’ personal data and information and has deep ties to China,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said in a statement to NBC News. He’s one of several Republican senators who have been pressuring TikTok for more information. . . . (read more)

Threats are Out There