Alabama becomes latest state to ban TikTok on state devices, networks

The crackdown on TikTok by state governments is growing.
The crackdown on TikTok by state governments is growing.
Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 6:44 PM EST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s governor has ordered popular social media app TikTok banned from the state’s devices and networks over security concerns.

Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday issued a memo to all state agency heads confirming the “cyber security action” and noting that it’s to protect the state and its residents’ data from “Chinese infiltration activities.”

“Look, I’m no TikTok user, but the evidence speaks for itself,” Ivey said, “and I want to make sure I’m doing everything we can as a state to stand against this growing security risk.”

Ivey said protecting the state and residents’ privacy “is a must,” and added that “I surely don’t take a security threat from China lightly.”

The governor said after a discussion with the state’s OIT secretary, the decision to ban the app was a “no brainer.”

Alabama joins a growing number of states, including Maryland, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas to ban the app.

Alabama’s move to block TikTok also follows national concerns dating back to the Trump administration. Trump threatened to ban the app in the U.S. and pressured its parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, to sell TikTok to a U.S. company.

The Biden administration has continued the federal government’s wariness, with FBI Director Chris Wray in early December warning the app is in the hands of a Chinese government “that doesn’t share our values.”

Calling it a “sophisticated surveillance tool,” FCC leader Brendan Carr called out TikTok in June through a letter to CEOs of Apple and Google, urging them to drop the app because it presents “an unacceptable national security risk” to millions of Americans who have downloaded it.

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