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U.S. Navy bans TikTok from government-issued mobile devices

dimsum

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(Reuters) - Earlier this week the United States Navy banned the social media app TikTok from government-issued mobile devices, saying the popular short video app represented a “cybersecurity threat.”

A bulletin issued by the Navy on Tuesday showed up on a Facebook page serving military members, saying users of government issued mobile devices who had TikTok and did not remove the app would be blocked from the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

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.

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.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tiktok-navy-idUSKBN1YO2HU?taid=5dfd9df66823370001705a46&utm_source=reddit.com
 

Jarnhamar

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Really gotta wonder why the US Navy apparently has so many members using TikTok.
 

garb811

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Jarnhamar said:
Really gotta wonder why the US Navy apparently has so many members using TikTok.
Have you ever given any thought as to what SM apps it is your troops are currently using? Guarantee you more than a few are on TikTok and none of them are on Facebook and Twitter.
 

Jarnhamar

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garb811 said:
Have you ever given any thought as to what SM apps it is your troops are currently using?

On their government-issued mobile devices?  Negative.

 

PPCLI Guy

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I can barely access my e-mails on my government issued I Phone....
 

dimsum

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garb811 said:
Have you ever given any thought as to what SM apps it is your troops are currently using? Guarantee you more than a few are on TikTok and none of them are on Facebook and Twitter.

FB, Insta, Snapchat for sure.  Whatsapp and Tiktok too.  And that's just off the top of my head.
 

garb811

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Jarnhamar said:
On their government-issued mobile devices?  Negative.
Ah, sorry, wasn't tracking you were meaning on issued devices...
 

CBH99

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Jarnhamar said:
Really gotta wonder why the US Navy apparently has so many members using TikTok.


It's a fun app where people re-enact songs and sing along, using the actions the app gives you too.  Makes for some fun videos.

Given the younger age of most enlisted folks, I can see it being a fun thing for them to do in their off time - pretty cool to show your parents a little music video you made while deployed on a ship!!

I can definitely see the appeal. 




Can also see the risk of having the app comb through a device's data, or start combing through other devices connected to the same wifi network.  Pretty smart folks out there who can do some pretty sinister stuff with just a keyboard. 

When you dig deep enough, it's actually pretty scary how most of the biggest SM app are owned by a Chinese company who, by law, must provide information to the CCP on demand. 
 
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