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Wisconsin, North Carolina ban use of TikTok on official devices amid security concerns

Wisconsin, North Carolina ban use of TikTok on official devices amid security concerns

Wisconsin, North Carolina ban use of TikTok on official devices amid security concerns

Wisconsin, North Carolina ban use of TikTok on official devices amid security concerns

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  • The governors of Wisconsin and North Carolina issued a ban on the use of TikTok.
  • This follows other states and the federal government in doing so.
  • FBI Director stated in November that TikTok poses hazards to national security.
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Due to worries about cyber security, the governors of Wisconsin and North Carolina issued a ban on the use of TikTok on government-owned devices on Thursday, following other states and the federal government in doing so.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced that he was also banning vendors, goods, and services from other Chinese firms, including Huawei Technologies, Hikvision (002415.SZ), Tencent Holdings (0700.HK), the owner of WeChat, ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), and Kaspersky Lab, which has its headquarters in Russia.

“In the digital age, defending our state’s technology and cybersecurity infrastructure and protecting digital privacy have to be a top priority for us as a state,” Evers said.

TikTok, WeChat, and “possibly other applications” that pose cybersecurity threats should not be used on state-owned devices, according to a directive signed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. This directive gives officials 14 days to create a policy prohibiting their usage.

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The Chinese technology giant ByteDance’s TikTok has also been blocked from state-owned smartphones in more than 20 additional states, including Ohio, New Jersey, and Arkansas earlier this week.

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TikTok said it was “disappointed that so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies that will do nothing to advance cybersecurity in their states and are based on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok.”

The majority of Republican governors who have been pushing to remove TikTok from state-owned smartphones have been joined by the Democratic governors of Wisconsin and North Carolina.

After U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray stated in November that TikTok poses hazards to national security, calls to prohibit it from government computers gained momentum.

The possibility that the Chinese government could use the software to sway users or manage their devices was raised by Wray.

For the past three years, TikTok, which has more than 100 million members, has worked to reassure Washington that the Chinese Communist Party or any other organization influenced by Beijing cannot access the personal information of American people or alter its content.

A government financing bill with a restriction on TikTok use and download for federal employees was signed into law by President Joe Biden last month.

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TikTok must be removed from federal devices within 60 days, according to the statute, which provides the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the authority. OMB opted not to respond on Thursday.

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