TikTok was already below the federal authorities’s magnifying glass, with the director of the FBI saying the social video app is a national security threat. And now the governors of Virginia and Georgia have taken motion towards the corporate.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order Friday banning TikTok and Chinese language social media app WeChat from state-run gadgets and wi-fi networks.  

“TikTok and WeChat knowledge are a channel to the Chinese language Communist Social gathering, and their continued presence represents a menace to nationwide safety, the intelligence neighborhood, and the non-public privateness of each single American,” Youngkin mentioned in a press launch. “We’re taking this step at this time to safe state authorities gadgets and wi-fi networks from the specter of infiltration and be sure that we safeguard the information and cybersecurity of state authorities.” 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp launched an identical order Thursday banning TikTok from state government devices

TikTok mentioned it is disillusioned by the actions of some state and federal officers. A spokesperson mentioned in an e-mail that the corporate is able to put in place options developed below the steerage of nationwide safety businesses “to additional safe our platform right here in the USA.”

Indiana Legal professional Normal Todd Rokita filed two lawsuits towards TikTok in early December. The primary alleges that the platform “lured kids” into content material on the app that contained sexual content material, profanity or drug references. Within the second lawsuit, the state claims TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has private information and delicate knowledge of Indiana customers and deceives them into believing their knowledge is protected against the Chinese language authorities. 

“The TikTok app is a malicious and menacing menace unleashed on unsuspecting Indiana customers by a Chinese language firm that is aware of full effectively the harms it inflicts on customers,” Legal professional Normal Rokita mentioned in a press launch. “With this pair of lawsuits, we hope to drive TikTok to cease its false, misleading and deceptive practices, which violate Indiana legislation.” 

TikTok says the privateness and safety of its neighborhood are a high precedence. 

“We construct youth well-being into our insurance policies, restrict options by age, empower dad and mom with instruments and sources, and proceed to put money into new methods to get pleasure from content material primarily based on age-appropriateness or household consolation,” a TikTok spokesperson mentioned in an e-mail. “We’re additionally assured that we’re on a path in our negotiations with the US authorities to totally fulfill all affordable US nationwide safety issues, and we have now already made important strides towards implementing these options.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott additionally took action against TikTok in early December calling for state businesses to ban their workers from downloading or utilizing the app on gadgets resembling telephones, tablets and laptops. He then ordered the Texas Division of Public Security and Texas Division of Info Assets to make a plan to handle vulnerabilities introduced by the utilization of TikTok. He additionally wrote a letter to the Texas Legislature leaders about implementing cybersecurity reforms within the upcoming session taking place subsequent 12 months. 

“TikTok harvests huge quantities of information from its customers’ gadgets — together with when, the place, and the way they conduct web exercise—and presents this trove of doubtless delicate data to the Chinese language authorities,” Abbott wrote in a letter. 

A TikTok spokesperson says bans of the app are “largely fueled by misinformation about our firm.” 

In 2020, the Trump administration banned TikTok from many government-issued phones and the military. Since then, the Biden administration has upheld that ban whereas investigating the app. The CIA confirmed in 2020 that user info could be intercepted by the Chinese government, however there was no indication of that taking place. 

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