US Army Recognizes TikTok as a National Threat and Prohibits Soldiers from Using the App
While U.S. intelligence is investigating a Chinese smartphone app and assessing a likely national security threat, the U.S. Army has decided to ban the installation of the app on all government phones.
"It is considered a cyber threat," Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, an Army spokeswoman, told Military.com. "We do not allow it on government phones."
According to official information, the U.S. Army made this decision after the Navy, which also considers the TikTok application, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, as a national threat.
Army representatives also confirmed that a few months before the ban, they themselves used TikTok to recruit soldiers, perhaps this also served as a catalyst for the ban, since the “every stick has two ends” and secret services of other countries may attempt to recruit US soldiers into their ranks as spies.
“While there's no evidence of suspicious activity taking place, ByteDance could theoretically be compelled to forward soldiers' sensitive info to the Chinese government or to recruit soldiers as spies,” Engadget reports.
Despite extreme precautions and the complete lack of evidence of the dangers of the Beijing app, the ban on installation applies exclusively to government devices. In other words, there was no restriction on personal smartphones.
The command also strongly recommends being vigilant when receiving strange messages from unknown users.
I’m glad the Army is taking the potential national security risks posed by TikTok seriously.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 31, 2019
China-owned technology companies’ collection and handling of user data, location-related data, and other sensitive personal information should concern us all.https://t.co/dPQkisq3t2
Image: The U.S. Army/Flickr