The Army has issued a ban on the app TikTok from all government-owned phones used by its personnel after determining the popular Chinese video app poses a threat to security, Military.com reports.
"It is considered a cyber threat," Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa told Military.com. "We do not allow it on government phones."
Previously, Army recruiters relying on TikTok, which is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, to recruit young people. However, U.S. lawmakers questioned whether the app poses a threat to national security, with Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., calling on American intelligence officials to investigate. On December 16, the Defense Department issued a Cyber Awareness Message after determining "TikTok as having potential security risks associated with its use."
The department warned employees to "be wary of applications you download, monitor your phones for unusual and unsolicited texts etc., and delete them immediately and uninstall TikTok to circumvent any exposure of personal information."
The Army cannot ban service members or other personnel from using TikTok on their own personal phones. Military.com contacted the Air Force and the Marine Corps to see if they will issue similar bans, but did not receive a response before publication.
TikTok said in a statement to Axios, "user data is stored and processed in the U.S. and other markets where TikTok operates at industry-leading third-party data centers. It's important to clarify that TikTok does not operate in China and that the government of the People's Republic of China has no access to TikTok users' data."
Theodore Bunker ✉
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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