US government staff given 30 days to uninstall TikTok amid China spying fears
The White House has handed all government agencies a 30-day deadline to delete TikTok from their devices, amid concerns that it has security 'risks'.
The Office of Management and Budget said on Monday that deleting TikTok is a 'critical step forward in addressing the risks presented by the app to sensitive government data'.
The new guidance was introduced as part of the 'No TikTok on Government Devices Act' in December, and the White House has already banned TikTok from its devices.
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The move is supposedly linked to security measures aimed at preventing Chinese spy agencies from accessing sensitive government data—but it could also stop government staff from wasting time on the popular video sharing app.
According to a Reuters report, Chris DeRusha, the federal chief information security officer, said: "The Biden-Harris Administration has invested heavily in defending our nation's digital infrastructure and curbing foreign adversaries' access to Americans' data.
"This guidance is part of the Administration's ongoing commitment to securing our digital infrastructure and protecting the American people's security and privacy."
Certain government agencies will be able to use TikTok for law enforcement, research, and national security reasons—presumably to police TikTok users engaged in illegal activity.
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Brooke Oberwetter, a TikTok spokesperson, said: "The ban of TikTok on federal devices passed in December without any deliberation, and unfortunately that approach has served as a blueprint for other world governments.
"These bans are little more than political theater."
The move comes ahead of a Republican proposal today that would give the President the power to ban TikTok across the USA.
Rep. Mike McCaul, who proposed the law, claims that TikTok is used by the Chinese Communist Party to 'manipulate and monitor its users while it gobbles up Americans' data to be used for their malign activities.
In a statement on Monday, McCaul said: "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."
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