back to article US govt now bans TikTok from contractors' work gear

The US federal government's ban on TikTok has been extended to include devices used by its many contractors - even those that are privately owned. The bottom line: if some electronics are used for government work, it better not have any ByteDance bits on it.  The interim rule was jointly issued by NASA, the Department of …

  1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

    Let's have the same throughout Europe

    No Google, no MS, no Facebook spyware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's have the same throughout Europe

      No more VoiceOfTruth trolling, wouldn't that be nice.

      1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

        Re: Let's have the same throughout Europe

        No more ACs as we can't tell you apart.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let's have the same throughout Europe

          No shit, Sherlock

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: Let's have the same throughout Europe

        What makes you think Facebook is any better than TikTok ?

        Do you really think Zuck gives a shit about you or your family when he sells your data for his own bank account ?

  2. Roland6 Silver badge

    Only a limited ban then

    So effectively only on “work” devices. It would be okay for a contractor to have two phones in their pocket, but only the one used for non-work related activities can have TikTok installed. What is not clear, can someone use TikTok whilst on a government site, where “government site” includes the parking lot?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Only a limited ban then

      Yes, as long as they are able to use their phone in that location. For secure sites, personal devices are usually not allowed to enter the facility, so you wouldn't be able to access it. For other sites, they don't care about use in the building, but use on a device with their data on it. So this really only affects people who actually bring their own mobile device for government work. I can't believe people do that very often. I don't like installing any employer-provided software on my devices. I'm willing to accept SMS messages and calls to my mobile number and to use multifactor authentication apps which are not tied to a profile. If they want more than that, they buy the device to run the code on and they can control it as tightly as they like. For the same reason, I won't use my personal laptop for work and they won't install anything on it. So far, my employers have accepted that preference.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Only a limited ban then

        > For secure sites, personal devices are usually not allowed to enter the facility

        That’s why I included the car park, whilst the device might not actually go into the secure area, there is probably much location and other metadata that could be usefully extracted and aggregated, if the Chinese government really were interesting in using TikTok for intelligence purposes.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Only a limited ban then

          Most of the time, they would already have access to that information, because most secure facilities are already on maps. They may not say what they do in there, but that it's government property and you can't go in there is in most cases already known, and China already has a list of most of the people who work in such places as well as anyone who posted information about it online.

          There are, of course, exceptions to that. However, those places tend to put a bit more into security than having a good lock, so people who work there are unlikely to be able to simply take their phone. There are some pieces of information that could be gleaned from a personal device, but the point of the law is to prevent the software from having access to data on the device, not metadata. Maybe they will try a more severe ban, as some of them have indicated a desire to do.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why?

    Because US spies in China saw that Tictok is/has been utilized to track military personal on US military bases, including location tracking of images of military and infrastructure. Much of the rest of the world has seen this done to them also. Think about this - If it was 1942, Alexa was Nazi party tech and you were Jewish, would you have an Alexa in your house?

    XI has made his global goal clear. If you don't want to resist hm, learn to speak Chinese.

  4. Cybersaber

    No need to specifically demonize China...

    ...If one of the TLAs isn't either suborning or actively collaborating with one or more US-based social media giants I would be very surprised.

    Why wouldn't China be spying using anything it can get to undermine its rival or spy on its military capabilities and readiness? Especially since it's perfectly legal over there.

    To me, it's less about the fact that they're spying, and more about the fact that they're spies working for a hostile foreign government. That's the sticking point for me. I don't care where you stand on the globe - the real question is: is your government hostile to my interests? If so, I won't trust anything that comes out of your country, and you DEFINITELY should have a healthy distrust of anything that comes out of mine.

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