The Navy would not describe in detail what dangers the app presents, but Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Uriah Orland said in a statement the order was part of an effort to “address existing and emerging threats”. TikTok did not return a request for comment. TikTok is hugely popular with U.S. teenagers, but has come under scrutiny from U.S. regulators and lawmakers in recent months. The U.S. government has opened a national security review of the app’s owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co’s $1 billion acquisition of U.S. social media app Musical.ly, Reuters first reported last month.
Last month, U.S army cadets were instructed not to use TikTok, after Senator Chuck Schumer raised security concerns about the army using TikTok in their recruiting. A Navy spokesman said Naval and Marine personnel who use government issued smart devices are generally allowed to use popular commercial apps, including common social media apps, but from time to time specific programs that present security threats are banned. He would not give examples of apps that are allowed or those considered unsafe.
But TikTok’s Chinese connections and growing popularity in the United States have drawn new concern in Washington after news reports highlighted that there were few signs of the Hong Kong protests on the app and that TikTok moderators were instructed to censor videos that featured a number of political themes.
The Pentagon’s Orland said the “Cyber Awareness Message” sent Dec. 16 “identifies the potential risk associated with using the TikTok app and directs appropriate action for employees to take in order to safeguard their personal information.” Reporting by Michael M.B. Pell and Echo Wang in New York; editing by Grant McCoolOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Online security 101: How to protect your privacy from hackers, spies, and the government Source code of Iranian cyber-espionage tools leaked on Telegram Microsoft loses control over Windows Tiles subdomain Failed student jailed for Silk Road, dark web drug profiteering The app, named Tchap, was launched yesterday, April 18, and is available on the official iOS and Android app stores.