Washington, DC, December 6, 2018 – As the most recent American Republican to take action against TikTok, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued an emergency edict on Tuesday forbidding the use of the Chinese-owned short-video sharing app TikTok on state government systems and networks.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order last week prohibiting state employees and contractors from installing or using TikTok on state-owned devices, while Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina urged a state agency to do the same on Monday.
Hogan imposed a ban on a wide range of items and platforms with Chinese and Russian influences because, in his words, they pose a “intolerable level of cybersecurity danger to the state.”
Executive branch organisations in Maryland are required to remove the products from state networks and restrict access.
According to TikTok, the worries that led to state bans were mostly stoked by false information.
The firm expressed disappointment on Tuesday about the loss of access to its platform for the numerous state departments, agencies, and educational institutions that had been utilising TikTok to foster communities and interact with supporters.
Republican Federal Communications Commission member Brendan Carr applauded Hogan’s action, saying it will “defend Maryland from the threats presented by malicious foreign actors.”
The FBI Director Chris Wray highlighted national security concerns about TikTok’s U.S. activities last month, warning of the possibility that the Chinese government may use the video-sharing app to influence users or take control of their devices.
The popular app, which is controlled by ByteDance, may also be used by Beijing to “manage software on millions of devices,” providing it the chance to “technically compromise” those devices, Wray continued.
Due to concerns that U.S. user data would be transferred to Beijing, the government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which assesses foreign purchases of U.S. assets for potential national security threats, ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok in 2020.
To secure the data of TikTok’s more than 100 million U.S. users, CFIUS and TikTok have been negotiating a national security agreement for months. However, according to sources, it seems doubtful that a deal will be achieved before January.
In September, TikTok executive Vanessa Pappas informed lawmakers that the company was moving closer to reaching a definitive settlement with the US government.
In 2020, the former president Donald Trump tried to prevent new U.S. users from downloading WeChat and TikTok, which would have effectively stopped the usage of the apps in the country, but he lost several legal challenges in the process.
In June 2021, President Joe Biden revoked Trump’s executive orders that aimed to outlaw the downloads and ordered the Commerce Department to evaluate the apps’ security risks.