TikTok Is Not Allowed On State-Issued Devices And Computers In Georgia!

Georgia governor bans TikTok on state devices

As of this writing, Georgia is at least the eleventh state to prohibit the use of TikTok on any device provided by the state government. WeChat and Telegram have been banned by the state government after being banned by Governor Brian Kemp. Concerns about the Chinese and Russian governments gaining access to users’ personal information through the apps and using it for spying purposes were cited by Kemp.

According to the AP, Kemp wrote a memo to the heads of state agencies saying, “The state of Georgia has a responsibility to prevent any attempt to access and infiltrate its secure data and sensitive information by foreign adversaries such as the [Chinese Communist Party].” Therefore, we must protect our nation from the CCP and the organizations it manages, as well as other foreign cyber threats.

This month, FBI Director Chris Wray warned that China may be using TikTok to gather information about its users. This was the reasoning behind Kemp’s order. The governor’s office told the Associated Press that law enforcement and prosecutors would be allowed to use the three apps with proper authorization. The ban will have an effect on public institutions of higher education.

South Dakota, Maryland, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah are just some of the other states that have enacted similar bans. TikTok has also been removed from all devices owned by the United States military. Meanwhile, this month, Indiana filed a lawsuit against the app, citing concerns over the safety of its users’ children.

A bill to prevent TikTok from being used on government-owned devices was approved by a voice vote in the Senate on Wednesday. Before it can reach Vice President Joe Biden’s desk for signature, the bill must first pass the House of Representatives. This week saw the latest attempt at a nationwide ban on TikTok in the United States, with identical bipartisan bills being introduced in the House and Senate.

As a result of concerns raised by American politicians, TikTok has made efforts to allay those fears. Since the month of June, TikTok has been using Oracle’s servers for all domestic traffic, keeping all user information within the United States. TikTok and ByteDance, the company that owns it, have promised to remove the data from their facilities in the United States and Singapore. Oracle has been looking into TikTok’s algorithms and content moderation systems since August when they first began to suspect tampering.

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ByteDance’s Headquarters Are Now Located In Singapore

Earlier this month, a representative for TikTok told The Associated Press that the bans “are largely fueled by misinformation about our company.”

ByteDance's Headquarters Are Now Located In Singapore

TikTok’s Los Angeles-based COO Vanessa Pappas has stated that the company takes the privacy of its American users seriously and that the Chinese government has no access to user data.

In an attempt to prevent new users from downloading WeChat and TikTok in 2020, former President Donald Trump issued blanket orders against Chinese tech companies, but he ultimately lost in court. Vice President Joe Biden has taken a more targeted approach by asking the Commerce Department to look into security worries. A potential agreement between U.S. officials and the company to allay American security concerns is currently under discussion.

Last month, a Heritage Foundation researcher urged American authorities to completely shut down the popular video-sharing app TikTok. However, there are those who believe these concerns are unfounded, arguing that China doesn’t gain much from data that isn’t readily available on TikTok.

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TikTok Has Recently Been Banned From State-Owned Computers In Georgia And New Hampshire

Govs. The governors of Georgia and New Hampshire have banned the use of TikTok and other popular messaging apps on all government-owned computers and mobile devices effective immediately on Thursday due to concerns that the Chinese government may be able to access users’ personal information.

TikTok Has Recently Been Banned From State-Owned Computers In Georgia And New Hampshire

WeChat and other applications developed by the Chinese company Tencent were banned by both Republican governors. Further, Sununu forbade the use of Huawei and ZTE smartphones and other telecommunications hardware made in China.

Similarly, Kemp has banned the use of the messaging app Telegram on the grounds that its Russian ownership presents the same security risks.

Kemp, in a memo, referred to the Chinese Communist Party by its acronym, saying that Georgia “has a responsibility to prevent any attempt to access and infiltrate its secure data and sensitive information by foreign adversaries such as the CCP.” The CCP, the entities under its control, and other international cyber threats make it imperative that we take measures to protect our nation’s security.

Kemp referred to statements made by FBI Director Chris Wray earlier this month, in which Wray expressed concern that China could use the app to collect data on its users for use in spying operations. Within 30 days, Sununu demanded that state agencies uninstall any illegal software or hardware.

As part of a wave that also includes calls for Congress to ban the use of the programs on federal government computers, Governors Kemp and Sununu are among at least 14 governors to take such an action.

Final Words

Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, banned the use of TikTok on state-owned devices on Thursday due to new information about the “depth of the Chinese Communist Party’s involvement with TikTok and the resulting threat that TikTok poses to government cybersecurity.” This prohibition was communicated to the heads of state agencies via a memorandum. The governor’s office provided CNET with a copy of the memo.

The new ban includes the messaging apps WeChat and Telegram due to “similar threats” found on those services, as stated in the memo. In response to a request for comment, neither WeChat nor Telegram provided a statement right away.

As FBI Director Christopher Wray put it in November, “control data collection on millions of users, or control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations if they so choose, or control software on millions of devices” is all within TikTok’s reach.

A representative for TikTok at the time said the company was “confident that we are on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable US national security concerns.”

Author

  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.

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