Cyber Security

Why Is the US Government Considering a TikTok Ban?

In recent years, TikTok has gained immense popularity among users worldwide, particularly among younger generations. However, concerns over the app’s data privacy and security have led to debates and controversies, with some countries imposing restrictions or outright bans on its usage. These moves have sparked a heated discussion about the balance between individual freedom and national security. The TikTok ban highlights the growing tension between the desire for global connectivity and the need for data security and sovereignty. This article at WJCT News by Laura Benshoff discusses the reasons for the TikTok ban in the US and the global reactions to its decisions.

State Governors Enforce a TikTok Ban to Protect Citizen Data

The US Senate is discussing banning TikTok on federal devices, while 16 Republican governors have recently banned the app on state devices. The reasons for these actions are concerns over data privacy and surveillance, with all governors citing similar reasons. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, for instance, stated that TikTok is used to gather data on Americans and manipulate them.

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony about TikTok to Congress influenced many governors, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Bipartisan support is growing to block TikTok on government computers at the federal level, while the GOP is leading the charge at the state level. In 2020, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning TikTok, which was never enforced after TikTok sued.

TikTok Faces Data Privacy Scrutiny and a Potential Federal Ban

With over one billion monthly users worldwide, TikTok has become a popular platform, especially among teens in the United States. As a result, some government agencies have started using TikTok to spread their messages. However, other states have banned the app, including state universities that may have been using it for recruiting.

TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter expressed disappointment in the bans saying, “So many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies that will do nothing to advance cybersecurity in their states.”

Despite the bans, TikTok plans to work with the federal government to address security concerns. Currently, TikTok is in talks with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to agree on the terms of its operations in the country.

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