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Georgia & New Hampshire Bans TikTok From State Computers

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Georgia & New Hampshire Bans TikTok From State Computers

(CTN NEWS) – Both Georgia’s Brian Kemp and New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu’s governors on Thursday immediately outlawed the use of TikTok and well-known messaging apps on any computers under their state governments’ control.

Citing concerns that the Chinese government could be able to access users’ personal data.

WeChat and other Tencent-owned applications were outlawed by both Republican governors.

Sununu went a step further and prohibited Huawei and ZTE handsets, as well as applications controlled by the Chinese company Alibaba and telecommunications equipment.

Kemp also prohibited Telegram, claiming that it posed similar threats due to Russian control.

Kemp, using the acronym for the Chinese Communist Party, stated in a memo:

“the state of Georgia has a responsibility to prevent any attempt by foreign adversaries such as the CCP to access and penetrate its protected data and sensitive information.”

“As a result, it is our responsibility to take measures to protect our state‘s safety and security from the CCP, the corporations it manages, and other foreign cyber threats.”

The restriction, according to Sununu, “will help maintain the safety, security, and privacy of New Hampshire residents.”

Kemp noted remarks made by FBI Director Chris Wray earlier this month, in which he suggested that China would utilize the app to gather user information that could be used for espionage.

Sununu gave state entities 30 days to remove any gear or software that was forbidden.

Georgia & New Hampshire Bans TikTok From State Computers

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu takes part in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference on Nov. 15, 2022.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

As part of a wave that also includes requests for Congress to restrict the use of the apps from federal government computers, Kemp and Sununu are among at least 14 governors who have taken such a step.

Some agencies responded quickly.

In an hour, Georgia’s Department of Transportation posted a farewell video on TikTok, saying “Follow us on Instagram, we won’t be posting to TikTok anymore!” “Thank you all for the engagement.”

They had uploaded 80 TikTok videos since October 2021.

https://twitter.com/SpaceyG/status/1603493768417665049

The Georgia Technology Authority will release rules later on Thursday that will include exclusions that will permit law enforcement.

And prosecutors to access the platforms with special approval, according to Andrew Isenhour, a spokesman for Kemp.

According to Isenhour, the prohibition will not apply to public universities in Georgia. Many of them make use of TikTok to interact with present students, recruit new ones, and recruit fans of their athletic teams.

Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah are additional states that have enacted bans.

Georgia & New Hampshire Bans TikTok From State Computers

eorgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at Ola High School on July 29, 2022, in McDonough, Ga. Kemp on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022(AP Photo/Megan Varner, File)

A TikTok ban measure was approved by the US Senate in 2020, but it was never approved by the House. There is also other legislation in Congress that would restrict or outright prohibit TikTok and other apps.

The app is not allowed on military equipment, according to the US armed forces.

The application’s detractors worry that the Chinese government may have access to sensitive data through it and may use it to disseminate false information or propaganda.

Although there has been much discussion regarding whether the Chinese government is actively collecting data from TikTok, observers claim that ByteDance, the company’s owner, is a Chinese company.

TikTok would be required to abide by any potential requests from Chinese security and intelligence agencies to hand over data.

In 2020, ByteDance relocated its main office to Singapore.

https://twitter.com/JerryDunleavy/status/1603393163682631681

According to a spokeswoman for TikTok, Jamal Brown, the restrictions “are mostly motivated by disinformation about our firm,” he told The Associated Press earlier this month.

Vanessa Pappas, the chief operating officer of TikTok and a resident of Los Angeles, has stated that the firm secures all American users’ data and that no one from the Chinese government has access to it.

In an effort to prevent new consumers from downloading WeChat and TikTok in 2020, former president Donald Trump imposed broad restrictions against Chinese digital companies, but he was unsuccessful in court.

President Joe Biden has adopted a more constrained strategy and asked the Commerce Department to investigate security issues.

Officials from the United States and the corporation are currently negotiating a potential deal that would allay American security worries.

Last month, a researcher with the right-leaning Heritage Foundation urged officials to outright forbid TikTok from operating in the United States.

However, some other analysts claim that the threat is exaggerated and that China doesn’t benefit significantly from TikTok data that isn’t made available to the general public.

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