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TikTok banned from federal devices and systems

The ban applies to contract vendors too

On Monday, the White House reportedly gave government agencies 30 days to ensure they do not have Chinese-owned app TikTok on federal devices and systems; agencies must also insure that no Internet traffic from their devices and systems can reach TikTok. The White House guidance also specified that within 90 days, agencies must address any use of TikTok by IT vendors through contracts and within 120 days agencies will include a new prohibition on TikTok in all new solicitations.

The ban, ordered by Congress late last year, follows similar actions from Canadathe EU, Taiwan and more than half of U.S. states. Many government agencies including the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department had banned TikTok from government devices before the vote.

This does not affect the more than 100 million Americans who use TikTok on private or company-owned devices at this time. However, on Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is set to vote on a bill that would give President Joe Biden the authority to ban TikTok from all U.S. devices.

“My bill empowers the administration to ban TikTok or any software applications that threaten U.S. national security,” Representative Mike McCaul, the committee chair, said. “Anyone with TikTok downloaded on their device has given the (Chinese Communist Party) a backdoor to all their personal information. It’s a spy balloon into your phone.”

The American Civil Liberties Union said it opposed a congressional ban on TikTok.

Earlier on Monday, Canada announced a ban on TikTok from government-issued devices, saying it presents an “unacceptable” level of risk to privacy and security, adding to the growing rift between the two countries.

The European Union’s two biggest policy-making institutions last week banned TikTok from staff phones for cybersecurity reasons.

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