Georgia Governor Bans TikTok On State-Issued Devices Over Threat To National Security

On Thursday, Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp banned the use of TikTok on state-issued devices amid growing concerns over the Chinese-based social media app’s threat to national security.

“The state of Georgia has a responsibility to prevent any attempts to access its secure data and sensitive information by foreign agencies such as the [Chinese Communist Party],” Kemp wrote in a memo sent to the state officials. “The CCP poses an ever-present national security threat to the United States and Georgia. As such, it is our duty to take action to preserve the safety and security of our state.”

The news comes the day after the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill that would ban the use of TikTok on federal government devices due to the app’s threat to national security.

The No TikTok on Government Devices Act, which was introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), still needs to be passed in the House and signed by President Biden to become law.

“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said in a statement on Thursday. “States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”

The bans on TikTok come shortly after FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a congressional hearing that he is “extremely concerned” about TikTok’s operations in the United States.

“We do have national security concerns, obviously from the FBI’s end, about TikTok,” Wray said. “They include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users, or control the recommendation algorithm which could be used for influence operations if they so choose, or to control software on millions of devices.”

Despite TikTok’s claims that it doesn’t store U.S. user data in China, the Chinese government has the ability to force companies to hand over internal information.

Wray explained that alone was “plenty of reason by itself to be extremely concerned.”

D & B Staff

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