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Alabama, Utah ban TikTok on state-owned devices over security concerns
By Ramon Tomey // Dec 14, 2022

The states of Alabama and Utah banned Chinese video app TikTok on devices owned by their respective state governments, citing concerns over security and data harvesting.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced her state's prohibition of TikTok in a statement. Her directive also ordered agencies under the executive branch to take all necessary steps to prevent TikTok from accessing sensitive state data.

"Disturbingly, TikTok harvests vast amounts of data, much of which has no legitimate connection to the app's supposed purpose of video sharing," the Republican governor said. "Use of TikTok involving state IT infrastructure thus creates an unacceptable vulnerability to Chinese infiltration operations."

Over at the Beehive State, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox announced a similar prohibition on the Chinese video app. According to his order – which applies to all executive branch agencies in Utah – state employees may not download or use the TikTok app, or visit any TikTok website, on any state-owned devices.

"China's access to data collected by TikTok presents a threat to our cybersecurity," Cox said in a statement. His press release also noted how Chinese national security laws allow Beijing to obtain data from U.S. users through companies based in China.

"As a result, we've deleted our TikTok account and ordered the same on all state-owned devices. We must protect Utahns and make sure that the people of Utah can trust the state's security systems."

Alabama and Utah joined other states that have banned the app from state-owned devices. Texas, Maryland and South Dakota implemented similar bans on TikTok from public sector devices, citing the same concerns. Meanwhile, Indiana sued the app for allegedly deceiving users about Chinese access to their data and exposing children to mature content.

Meanwhile, TikTok spokesman Jamal Brown said in a statement: "We're disappointed that so many states are jumping on the bandwagon to enact policies based on unfounded, politically charged falsehoods about TikTok."

TikTok also banned in Taiwan

U.S. state governments are not the only ones that have banned TikTok from public sector devices, as the island nation of Taiwan has followed suit.

The ban on TikTok was confirmed by the Taiwanese Ministry of Digital Affairs (MODA), with an unnamed ministry official calling it and two other apps "harmful products against national information security." The said ban applied to government-owned devices such as mobile phones, tablets and desktops. (Related: Taiwan bans TikTok from government devices, mulls nationwide prohibition.)

Digital Affairs Minister Audrey Tang Tsung-han said on Dec. 9 that an inter-ministerial committee meeting will be convened to discuss the possibility of extending the ban to the public. She added that a report on the proposal will be filed at the information security meeting at the end of December.

In an email to the Epoch Times, an unnamed TikTok spokesperson said the company is "happy to continue having constructive meetings with state policymakers" to talk about the privacy and security practices of the app.

"We believe the concerns driving these decisions are largely fueled by misinformation about our company. We are disappointed that many state agencies, offices, and universities will no longer be able to use TikTok to build communities and connect with constituents."

U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr lauded Taiwan's decision to ban TikTok from public sector devices in a tweet. He commended the MODA's "smart and strong leadership … based on a national security determination."

In a separate tweet, the commissioner confirmed that at least nine U.S. states have taken action on TikTok "based on the serious security threats it presents."

Carr, formerly the FCC's general counsel, previously urged the U.S. to ban the app as it would be impossible for officials to determine whether the Chinese government has access to TikTok users' data.

Watch this G News report about TikTok being able to send users' phone data to China.

This video is from the Chinese taking down EVIL CCP channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Indiana sues Tiktok over consumer data access and sexual content.

Parents not comfortable allowing their children to use Chinese app TikTok, poll reveals.

Chinese agents caught using TikTok to manipulate midterm election in favor of Democrats.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem bans TikTok on state-owned devices, citing app's intelligence gathering operations.

New research reveals social media sites like Meta, Instagram and Tiktok can monitor keystrokes to obtain private information.

Sources include:






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