The social media craze TikTok has recently drawn negative attention from the United States Military. In brief, the US Army has banned the app TikTok due to security concerns.
US Army Ban TikTok
Reportedly, the US Army has banned the Chinese social media application TikTok amidst security risks. According to Military.com, the Army has restricted the soldiers from using the application as they deem it a security threat.
As the Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa told Military.com,
It is considered a cyber threat… We do not allow it on government phones.
Earlier, Army recruiters used the app as a means to reach out to the youth. Though, amidst rising popularity, the app also attracted negative attention as people were concerned over security risks. In October 2019, the Senators wrote a letter to the US Director of National Intelligence requesting a thorough review of the app. They mentioned in their letter,
Security experts have voiced concerns that China’s vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
The Senators, detailing various concerns, deemed TikTok a threat to US security.
With over 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore.
Alongside the ByteDance-owned TikTok, the letters also demanded a review of other Chinese content platforms operating in the United States.
Ban Applicable On Government Phones Only
Though the Army has banned the use of TikTok, it only applies for Government phones. Perhaps, the soldiers might still use it on their personal phones.
However, the US Army has urged all soldiers using TikTok on personal phones to stay very cautious, especially while receiving unfamiliar messages.
This isn’t the first move from the US Military banning TikTok. In December 2019, the US Navy also prohibited the personnel from using TikTok on government-issued phones. Violating the restriction threatened the users to face a block from the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.