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South Dakota bans use of TikTok on government devices

Republican Governor Kristi Noem stated that her state "will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us."

Kristi Noem

(Gage Skydmore / Flickr)

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order Tuesday banning the Chinese social media app TikTok on state government devices. The Republican governor noted that this order is in response to the growing national security threat posed by TikTok due to its data collection operations on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In a statement, Kristi Noem explained that "South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us." The Republican governor called on Congress to follow her state's example:

Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well.

The order will go into effect immediately and prohibits downloading or using TikTok or visiting the website on state-owned or state-leased electronic devices with internet connectivity.

TitTok in the spotlight

A few days ago, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced his intention to open an investigation against TikTok. Wilson pointed out the danger posed by certain apps and the lack of public awareness in these cases.

I'm in the National Guard. I've gotten cyber briefings on what the capabilities of big tech are. It is terrifying. If people actually knew how much companies like TikTok — owned by the Chinese government — actually knew about you, there would be more concern. A big tech company that is owned by the Chinese government is really scary.

The FBI warned that the Chinese regime could possibly gain computer control through the TikTok app. Federal Bureau Director Christopher Wray noted that the Beijing regime could control the recommendation algorithm to influence citizens.