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VIRGINIA, USA: Canada and the United States moved forward Monday with bans of TikTok on government devices.
The White House gave federal agencies 30 days to halt the use of the popular social media app, implementing a ban approved by Congress in December.
The U.S. measure has limited exceptions for law enforcement, national security and research purposes.
“This guidance is part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to securing our digital infrastructure and protecting the American people’s security and privacy,” said Chris DeRusha, the federal chief information security officer.
TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has drawn scrutiny from Western governments concerned about the security of user data and the potential the app could be used to promote pro-China views.
The TikTok logo is seen on a cellphone on Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston.
The company has dismissed the concerns and called the bans “political theater.”
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said during a briefing Tuesday that the United States “has been overstretching the concept of national security and abusing state power to suppress other countries’ companies.”
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to proceed Tuesday with a bill that would give President Joe Biden the ability to ban TikTok nationwide.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the TikTok ban for government devices could serve as a signal to the wider population.
The TikTok logo is seen on a cellphone on Oct. 14, 2022.
“I suspect that as government takes the significant step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones many Canadians from business to private individuals will reflect on the security of their own data and perhaps make choices,” Trudeau said.
The European Commission and the EU Council banned TikTok on staff phones last week.