Several Texas universities ban download and use of TikTok

Students and faculty will not be able to access the Chinese platform while connected to the university Wi-Fi networks.

In December, Greg Abbott ordered a ban on the download and use of TikTok on Texas government-provided devices. The University of Dallas, the University of Austin (UT Austin) and the University of North Texas have also announced that they will not allow students to use the Chinese platform while connected to their respective university Wi-Fi networks.

Jeff Neyland, advisor to the president of the University of Austin, communicated the ban to university students via email under the pretext that TikTok is a threat to national security:

The federal government recognizes the video-sharing mobile application as a national security threat. Several federal agencies and states have already prohibited its use on their government networks and government-issued devices. Recently, UT Austin began the process of removing TikTok from all government-issued devices, including university-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers. Today, the university blocked TikTok access on our networks. You are no longer able to access TikTok on any device if you are connected to the university via its wired or WIFI networks.

How the universities will block TikTok

Laylan Copelin, spokesperson for the University at Dallas and Texas A&M University System, explained how the download and use of TikTok will be blocked while a device is connected to the Wi-Fi network:

[W]e are in the process of putting in place network based filtering that will block both wireless and wired access to downloading or accessing the app from our campus network, which means students, faculty, staff and visitors will not be able to use the app when connected to an A&M network.

These Texas universities are not the only universities to disallow TikTok; Auburn University in Alabama, the University of Oklahoma and Boise State University in Idaho have also announced bans on the platform.