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Georgia, Idaho, and New Hampshire Become Latest States to Ban TikTok for Government Employees

Georgia, Idaho, and New Hampshire Become Latest States to Ban TikTok for Government Employees
Photograph Credit score: Solen Feyissa

Georgia, Idaho, and New Hampshire have grow to be the most recent states to ban TikTok for presidency staff.

As TikTok faces elevated scrutiny from the federal authorities over safety considerations, not less than 16 states have taken official motion towards the app since 2020, both within the type of lawsuits or banning the app’s use on authorities units. 

On Tuesday, a bunch of federal lawmakers led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio launched bipartisan laws entitled the “ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act” to ban the app broadly throughout the US. On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously authorised a separate invoice requiring TikTok to be faraway from all federal authorities units.

TikTok officers have launched statements outlining the corporate’s information practices, which embody making a US Knowledge Safety division and routing all US visitors by way of US-based servers. Nonetheless, as of July, TikTok nonetheless makes use of information facilities in Singapore to retailer backup consumer information — however is anticipated to delete these backups in an entire transition to the US-based Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The corporate nonetheless “categorically denies” any allegations of mishandling consumer information, insisting that the accusations from authorities officers are “politically charged.”

“We’re upset that so many states are leaping on the bandwagon to enact insurance policies based mostly on unfounded, politically charged falsehoods about TikTok,” says a TikTok spokesperson.

A number of states and elected officers keep official pages on TikTok, reminiscent of California’s Gavin Newsom and Colorado’s Jared Polis, each Democrats. Notably, all actions that states have taken towards the app have been led and launched by Republicans.

On December 15, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp despatched a memo to heads of state companies directing them to ban a number of apps, together with TikTok, from state-owned units. The order additionally bans apps like WeChat from China-based Tencent Holdings and Telegram, based by Russian brothers however now based mostly in Dubai. 

“The state of Georgia has a accountability to stop any try to entry and infiltrate its safe information and delicate data by international adversaries such because the Chinese language Communist Social gathering, (which) poses an ever-present nationwide safety risk to the US,” reads Kemp’s memo, which cites federal insurance policies in addition to latest feedback from FBI Director Chris Wray as inspiration for the brand new coverage.

On December 14, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed an government order banning a number of Chinese language apps and providers from state-owned units and networks, together with working with sure distributors for state enterprise. The ban covers TikTok, Huawei Applied sciences, ZTE Group, Hytera Communications Company, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Expertise Firm, Dahua Expertise Firm, Alibaba, and Tencent Holdings.

“New Hampshire is becoming a member of the rising checklist of states which have banned TikTok and different Chinese language firms from state authorities units and networks,” says Sununu. “This transfer will assist protect the protection, safety, and privateness of the residents of New Hampshire.”

On December 14, Idaho Governor Brad Little issued an government order banning state officers from downloading or utilizing TikTok on state-issued units, which additionally directs the state’s Workplace of Info Expertise Companies to dam TikTok on all state networks.

“The communist Chinese language authorities can use TikTok to gather essential data from our state and federal authorities, and we’re taking this step to guard Idahoans and Individuals from the sinister motives of a international authorities that doesn’t share our values and seeks to weaken and manipulate our nation,” stated Little. “This new ban to remove TikTok from state-issued units and networks will assist shield nationwide safety and Idahoans’ information.”

On December 13, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum issued an government order to ban TikTok from state-owned units. That very same day, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a directive to the state’s CIO to ban the app from state-owned units and stop companies from sustaining a TikTok presence.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey requested a ban on TikTok for presidency units and networks on December 12. Utah Governor Spencer Cox issued an government order the identical day, banning TikTok from state staff and prohibiting state companies and contractors from sustaining “branded” TikTok accounts.

Different states whose governors have taken motion towards TikTok by way of an official memo or government order embody TennesseeOklahomaNebraskaSouth CarolinaSouth Dakota, and Texas. Maryland’s Workplace of Safety Administration issued an emergency cybersecurity directive earlier this month to ban the app and a number of other others from state networks. Indiana’s Legal professional Common additionally introduced a pair of lawsuits towards TikTok on December 7, alleging that the app courts kids to make use of it by way of deceptive promoting and that the corporate misrepresents its data-sharing insurance policies.