Why US Navy & Army did use TikTok and now are banning it?

Members of the US military will no longer be able to use the TikTok app on government-provided smartphones, as legislators believe that the use of this app poses an information security risk.

A statement signed by US Navy Lieutenant Colonel Uriah Orland confirmed that both the Army and Navy have banned the use of TikTok in connection with preventing some existing and future cybersecurity threats. In addition, smartphones delivered by these organizations which have TikTok already installed have been disabled. The reason is distrust of ByteDance, the app developer company.

The US government provides special smartphones to members of the military and navy, which have certain security locks that prevent the download of some commercial apps. Because TikTok has been wrapped in some information security scandals, the government has decided to include it on its blacklist of unreliable apps. Other government organizations could take similar steps.

The US Army had been using TikTok in some recruiting phases; however, Chuck Schumer, a Democratic senator for New York, advised members of these organizations to stop using the app because of the possible relationship between the company established in Beijing, and the Chinese Communist Party.

According to information security specialists, the US authorities fear that this app will divert the information of members of the armed forces to some servers controlled by the Chinese government, and they also fear that TikTok’s managers will implement censorship campaigns against users and content creators who post material deemed critical of the Chinese government.

On the other hand, ByteDance has repeatedly denied any information sharing relationship with the Chinese government, although they have not yet commented on the statements of the US armed forces. Information security specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) point out that while this is not yet a formal ban, company representatives should exercise cautions and collaborate with US lawmakers, besides waiting for news about TikTok future in West.