TikTok Banned From Government Devices in Two US States Over Security Concerns; Huawei, Tencent Also Barred

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The governors of Wisconsin and North Carolina on Thursday signed orders banning TikTok on authorities units as a consequence of cyber safety considerations, becoming a member of different US states and the federal authorities in prohibiting using the favored video app.

Along with banning Chinese language-owned TikTok from state units, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers stated he was banning distributors, services from different Chinese language firms together with Huawei Applied sciences, Hikvision, Tencent Holdings – the proprietor of WeChat, ZTE Corp in addition to Russian- primarily based Kaspersky Lab.

“Within the digital age, defending our state’s know-how and cybersecurity infrastructure and defending digital privateness must be a prime precedence for us as a state,” Evers stated.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an order directing officers to develop a coverage inside 14 days that prohibits using TikTok, WeChat and “probably different purposes” that current cybersecurity dangers on state units.

Greater than 20 different states have additionally banned TikTok, owned by Chinese language know-how conglomerate ByteDance, from state units together with Ohio, New Jersey and Arkansas earlier this week.

TikTok stated it was “upset that so many states are leaping on the political bandwagon to enact insurance policies that can do nothing to advance cybersecurity of their states and are primarily based on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok.”

The Democratic governors of Wisconsin and North Carolina joined largely Republican governors who’ve led the cost to ban TikTok from state units.

Calls to ban TikTok from authorities units gained steam after US FBI Director Christopher Wray stated in November it poses nationwide safety dangers.

Wray flagged the menace that the Chinese language authorities may harness the app to affect customers or management their units.

For 3 years, TikTok – which has greater than 100 million customers – has been in search of to guarantee Washington that the private information of US residents can’t be accessed and its content material can’t be manipulated by China’s Communist Occasion or some other entity underneath Beijing’s affect.

Final month, US President Joe Biden signed into legislation a authorities funding invoice that included a ban on federal staff from utilizing or downloading TikTok on government-owned units.

The legislation provides the White Home Workplace of Administration and Finances (OMB) 60 days “to develop requirements and pointers for government companies requiring the elimination” of TikTok from federal units. OMB declined to remark Thursday.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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