New York City bans TikTok on government-issued devices

New York City becomes the latest government to prohibit TikTok, a measure intended to deter potential Chinese security concerns.

The Verge reported that the new prohibition is effective immediately and requires agencies to remove the app from city-owned hardware within 30 days. Following a security review, NYC Cyber Command, which concentrates on cyber threats for the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation, recommended the ban.

In 2020, New York issued its own prohibition against TikTok on government-owned devices. In recent years, a number of other jurisdictions, including New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Georgia, have issued their own bans.

In December, the U.S. House of Representatives prohibited the use of TikTok on government devices. In an effort to compel TikTok to relinquish its Chinese ownership, the Biden administration intensified its pressure campaign against the app earlier this year.

In March, the CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, testified before Congress, where he endured five hours of interrogation from legislators over concerns that China could use the app to compromise national security. TikTok is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, distinguishing it from other prominent U.S.-based social media companies.

Chew stated unequivocally that ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other nation in his inaugural remarks.

In May, Montana governor Greg Gianforte signed into law a prohibition on the use of TikTok beginning in 2024. Unlike other state-level actions, the prohibition would restrict access to the popular app for normal users as well as government-issued devices.

TikTok responded with a lawsuit aimed at preserving the app’s availability in Montana. This month, tech industry groups NetChoice and Chamber of Progress supported TikTok’s lawsuit against the ban, contending that “Montana’s effort to cut Montanans off from the global network of TikTok users ignores and undermines the structure, design, and purpose of the internet.”

TikTok initially hid its involvement in a distinct lawsuit filed by creators opposed to the Montana ban.

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