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Technology Nearly the whole US military has banned TikTok

18:25  04 january  2020
18:25  04 january  2020 Source:   engadget.com

TikTok tries to explain takedown of viral video about Uighurs in China

  TikTok tries to explain takedown of viral video about Uighurs in China Other the last day or so, a TikTok "makeup tutorial" video that was actually a call for viewers to investigate the detention of Uighur Muslims in China went viral on and off the platform. However, as The Guardian and others reported, TikTok temporarily banned the account of the teenager who created the video. According to her, this isn't the first time the platfom has tried to censor her account for speaking about the issue. This evening, asThis evening, as much of the US heads into a holiday weekend, TikTok offered a public apology and detailed timeline of events, where it claims that the ban was not related to the topic of this video.

US government scrutiny of the Chinese app has been building for months. The Army cannot ban its personnel from using TikTok on their personal phones, Ochoa told Military .com, but leaders recommended that service members use caution if they received random or unfamiliar text messages.

The United States Army banned TikTok from military -issued smartphones in response to last month’s warning, Lt. “As we have said before, and recently confirmed through an independent security audit, we store all US user data in the United States , with backup redundancy in Singapore,” Ms. Pappas

When the Army, Marines and Navy all put the kibosh on TikTok, you knew it was just a matter of time before other US military branches followed suit -- and sure enough, they have. The Air Force and Coast Guard have confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that they no longer allow TikTok on government-issued devices. It's not yet clear that the ban is truly comprehensive (the recently established Space Force hasn't weighed in), but it effectively leaves no 'safe' space for TikTok on military hardware.

a close up of a hand holding a pink screen

There are no restrictions on use with personal devices, but officials have encouraged personnel and their kids to uninstall the app.

Navy bans TikTok from government-issued phones

  Navy bans TikTok from government-issued phones Don't expect to post often on TikTok if you're serving in the US Navy. The military branch has banned use of the social video app on any government-issued mobile devices. ByteDance's software is allegedly a "cybersecurity threat," according to a bulletin. The Navy's Lieutenant Colonel Uriah Orland didn't offer specific reasons for the ban, but the notice asked troops to take action to "safeguard their personal information." There's little doubtThere's little doubt as to why TikTok might face restrictions, though. US politicians remain concerned about TikTok's Chinese ownership and the potential for the app to serve as a conduit for Chinese government plans.

TikTok is owned by Beijing company ByteDance and use has blown up in the United States over the past two years. New guidance for military members to uninstall the app came after a Dec. 16 Defense Department Cyber Awareness Message that identified TikTok as having potential security

The US Army has banned military personnel from using the popular video app TikTok on government-issued phones, following guidance from the Pentagon and highlighting growing tensions over the app's Beijing-based parent firm. An Army spokeswoman told Military .com in an interview released this week

The Air Force and Coast Guard didn't provide specific reasoning for the ban, but it's likely to be consistent with earlier bans. There's been concerns that TikTok's ownership might leave it susceptible to pressure from the Chinese government to hand over sensitive data, although the company recently said that China didn't request any info in the first half of 2019.

And like spokeswoman Maj. Malinda Singleton told the WSJ, some of the issues are "not unique" to any one social media platform. Hostile governments could theoretically recruit people through social networks, and there's a chance that personnel could inadvertently reveal military secrets or expose themselves to attack. Warnings like this are rare (the Defense Department cautioned against using Pokémon Go in 2016), but they're not shocking given the potential for oversharing.

Wall Street Journal

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