Texas Gov. Abbott Announces Plan to Ban TikTok Statewide

Texas Gov. Abbott Announces Plan to Ban TikTok Statewide

Texas TikTok’ers might not like this. Gov. Greg Abbot has announced a model of a plan that would ban the popular social media app in the state of Texas.

The proposed security plan is for state agencies to address vulnerabilities presented by the use of TikTok, and other software on personal and state-issued devices, CBS News reported.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Information Resources developed a plan for state agencies to follow to help them manage personal and state-issued devices used to conduct state business. All state agencies have until February 15, 2023, to implement their own policy to enforce this statewide plan.

“The security risks associated with the use of TikTok on devices used to conduct the important business of our state must not be underestimated or ignored,” said Gov. Abbott in a news release. “Owned by a Chinese company that employs Chinese Communist Party members, TikTok harvests significant amounts of data from a user’s device, including details about a user’s internet activity. Other prohibited technologies listed in the statewide model plan also produce a similar threat to the security of Texans.”

The mockup lists the following objectives for agencies to follow:

  • Ban and prevent the download or use of TikTok and prohibited technologies on any state-issued device identified in the statewide plan. This includes all state-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices of capable of internet connectivity. Each agency’s IT department must strictly enforce this ban.
  • Prohibit employees or contractors from conducting state business on prohibited technology-enabled personal devices.
  • Identify sensitive locations, meetings, or personnel within an agency that could be exposed to prohibited technology-enabled personal devices. Prohibited technology-enabled personal devices will be denied entry or use in these sensitive areas.
  • Implement network-based restrictions to prevent the use of prohibited technologies on agency networks by any device.
  • Work with information security professionals to continuously update the list of prohibited technologies.

At the end of the year, Gov. Abbot banned the use of TikTok on government-issued devices over his concerns about the growing threat posed by the Communist Chinese party.

“The threat of the Chinese Communist Party to infiltrate the United States continues to grow. While the federal government holds the ultimate responsibility for foreign policy issues, the State also has the responsibility and opportunity to protect itself,” Abbott wrote in a letter. It’s a move he says the executive branch is ready to support.

South Dakota, South Carolina, and Maryland have also banned the use of TikTok on government-issued devices, and the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security have banned use of the app on devices issued by the federal government. 

About Crystal Gross

Crystal joined BallerAlert in 2020 to renew her passion for writing. She is a Kentucky native who now lives in the heart of Atlanta. She enjoys reading, politics, traveling, and of course writing.

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