Government employees, agencies, and contractors in South Dakota will no longer be allowed to download the TikTok app or access the website on government devices, according to an executive order signed by Governor Kristi Noem.
TikTok, the popular video streaming app owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, Ltd., has been facing mounting scrutiny from all sides of the United States government — state officials like Noem, to the Congress and Senate, the Department of Justice, as well as the White House have all voiced concerns over how the app stores and utilizes US user data, and whether it could fall into the hands of the Chinese government.
Brendan Carr, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner, in November called for the government to ban the app altogether, saying “there simply isn’t a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party].”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who also heads the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (Cfius) which is tasked to review foreign investments with national security implications, on Wednesday said that she thinks “there are legitimate national security considerations,” but has yet to discuss what the next move for the app would be.
The South Dakota ban, meanwhile, is effective immediately. The executive order will impact all state-owned or state-leased electronic devices capable of connecting to the internet.
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