WORLD – USA
The White House on Monday gave federal agencies 30 days to remove the Chinese app TikTok from all US government agencies.
Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, called on government agencies to “remove and prohibit installation” of the app on information technology devices owned or operated by agencies within 30 days, and to “ban Internet traffic” from such devices.
The ban does not apply to individuals or companies in the United States that are not affiliated with the federal government.
However, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a bill recently introduced in Congress would “effectively ban TikTok in this country”.
“Congress should not censor entire platforms and deprive Americans of their constitutional right to free speech and expression,” ACLU Senior Policy Advisor Jenna Leventoff said in a press release.
“We have the right to use TikTok and other platforms to share thoughts, ideas and opinions with people across the country and around the world,” she said.
TikTok, owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, has become a political target because of concerns that the Chinese Communist Party may use the globally popular app for intelligence or propaganda purposes.
A law signed by US President Joe Biden last month bans the use of TikTok on government-issued devices. The law also bans the use of TikTok in the US House of Representatives and Senate.
National security concerns have intensified after a Chinese balloon crossed US airspace and was eventually shot down.