The Pentagon's war on Tik Tok has entered its Leroy Jenkins phase.
The Defense Information Systems Agency recommended that all Defense Department employees not install the Chinese-made app on their phones or uninstall Tik Tok if they already have it on their devices, according to a Dec. 16 cyber awareness message.
A Pentagon spokesman could not say exactly what perils Tik Tok poses to national security.
“The threats posed by social media are not unique to TikTok (though they may certainly be greater on that platform), and DoD personnel must be cautious when making any public or social media post,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Uriah Orland.
The cyber awareness message advises DoD employees that uninstalling Tik Tok “will not prevent already potentially compromised information from propagating, but it could keep additional information from being collected,” Orland said.
DISA also urges DoD personnel to “research the company history and ownership for any suspicious foreign connections or ownership” before downloading any apps, Orland said.
It further recommends that DoD employees monitor their personal phones and their family members' devices for unusual and unsolicited texts, instant messages, calls, and emails, Orland said. Any such messages should be deleted immediately.
On Wednesday, the Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page posted an email from Naval Network Warfare Command in Suffolk, Virginia, telling sailors and Marines that they would be blocked from accessing Navy Marine Corps Intranet services if they have Tik Tok on their iPhones or iPads.
The message applies to sailors' and Marines' government-issued mobile devices, said Navy Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet.
“This decision was made based on cybersecurity threat assessments, and is consistent with 10th Fleet efforts to proactively address existing and emerging threats in defense of our networks,” Benham told Task & Purpose.