Government employees in South Dakota will no longer be allowed to have TikTok installed on government devices due to security concerns.
“Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately,” said Republican Governor Kristi Noem in a statement. “I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well.”
Noem made the ban official in a Tuesday executive order.
The move comes roughly a month after FCC commissioner Brendan Carr told Axios that the Biden administration’s Council on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) should take action against the hugely popular Chinese-owned app which allows users to post short videos, adding that it poses a “national security concern.”
“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” said Carr.
Axios said TikTok is in discussions with CFIUS about whether it can be divested from ByteDance, a Chinese company, to an American company to remain operational in the US.
In addition to their general concerns about all social media companies, US officials worry about TikTok’s data collection polices and its relationship to the Chinese government. That’s prompted calls from US Senators to fully ban the app. TikTok has said it is confident it will reach a resolution with US officials that allows the app to remain in the country. -Bloomberg
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen – chair of the CFIUS, told a conference hosted by the New York Times: “I think there are legitimate national security considerations. “
Meanwhile in late October, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), head of the US Senate intelligence committee, admitted that President Trump was right regarding the security risks surrounding the video app.
Across the political spectrum, Republican lawmakers are in line with Democrats about TikTok:
“No surprise there, TikTok is just another invasive tool for communist China to infiltrate Americans’ personal and proprietary information,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told The Epoch Times. “This app presents a very real threat to our national security, and the United States should take strong action to stop the CCP’s espionage campaign.”
And in another October interview, China-In-Focus’ Tiffany Meier sat down with Casey Fleming, CEO of intelligence and security strategy firm BlackOps Partners, who said:
“What people need to understand is that TikTok is a military application.
It’s a weaponized espionage application to get every bit of information they possibly can off the phone, which they do – your whereabouts, how you go about your day, your access to other people, access to technology, intellectual property, and things that you can be blackmailed on, and so on.
So people need to understand that TikTok is a weaponized military application in the hands of our middle schoolers, our kids, our high school kids, and our young adults.”
As a reminder, India banned TikTok in 2020 “to protect the data and privacy of its 1.3 billion citizens” and to put a stop to technology that was “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in unauthorized servers outside India.”