On Wednesday, the city of New York implemented a ban on the use of the short video sharing app TikTok on all devices owned by the city government, claiming security concerns as the reason. New York City joins a number of other towns and states in the United States that have implemented similar restrictions on TikTok.
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese internet firm ByteDance and is used by more than 150 million people in the United States, is facing increasing demands from politicians in the United States for a statewide ban due to worries over the probable influence of the Chinese government.
The office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued a statement saying that TikTok “posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks.”
The city agencies of New York City are given a deadline of thirty days to delete the application, after which workers will no longer have access to the application or its website on any city-owned device or network. Already off limits for use on state-owned mobile devices was the popular video-sharing app TikTok.
TikTok has been labelled as a potential risk by high-ranking U.S. security authorities, including the Director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, and the Director of the CIA, William Burns. In March, Wray said that the Chinese government might use TikTok to manipulate software on millions of devices and create narratives to divide Americans. He added that the app “screams” of national security problems and that this was one of his primary worries.
In 2020, while he was still in office, former President Donald Trump made an attempt to prevent new downloads of the app TikTok. However, a number of judicial judgements prevented the ban from going into force.
A number of states and localities in the United States have put restrictions on the use of TikTok on government-owned devices. The state of Montana only recently approved a law that prohibits the use of the app statewide; the regulation is scheduled to go into effect on January 1 but is now being contested in court.