ANOTHER State Governor Has Banned TikTok From….


Maryland is banning the use of TikTok and certain China and Russia-based platforms in the state’s executive branch of government, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday, the latest state to address cybersecurity risks presented by the platforms.

Maryland’s chief tax collector, Peter Franchot, applauded and backed the order during Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting and laid the blame for billions of dollars in fraud at the feet of bad actors connected to the two countries.

“We lost between $2 and $3 billion in unemployment funds, largely from the federal government, but we’re responsible for doling them out. These are funds that are supposed to go to people that are really hurting. Instead they went out of state, out of country,” said Franchot. “Unfortunately a lot of them went to states like China and Russia, who do not have our best interests at heart.”

The TikTok ban was included in an emergency cybersecurity directive aimed at multiple Chinese and Russian apps and products.

“There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” Hogan said in a statement. “To further protect our systems, we are issuing this emergency directive against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us.”

Maryland’s Chief Information Security Officer Chip Stewart said that “This action represents a critical step in protecting Maryland State systems from the cybersecurity threats caused by foreign organizations.” 

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company, and Republicans together with a handful of security experts have targeted it in recent years over concerns that the Chinese government can access user data.

Hogan’s directive also prohibits the use of Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corp, and Tencent Holdings,  which includes products such as Tencent QQ, QQ Wallet, and WeChat, and Alibaba products, which includes AliPay and Kaspersky.

It was not immediately clear if the governor or the executive branch agencies under his domain currently use TikTok or any of the other products.

The order cites a “reasonable belief” of risks associated with the products such as cyber-espionage, government surveillance, “inappropriate collection of sensitive personal information” and “algorithmic modification to conduct disinformation or misinformation campaigns.”

Maryland Gov.-elect Wes Moore, a Democrat, declined comment through a spokesperson on Hogan’s directive.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, both Republicans, also issued orders in the last week to ban TikTok from state government devices.

More details of this report from Daily Wire:

In Arkansas, state Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R) filed a bill on Monday that would enact a similar TikTok ban on state devices.

At the national level, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced legislation last month to ban the app in the U.S. outright.

“TikTok is a major threat to U.S. national security. Yet Biden is encouraging greater engagement with the platform by directly courting TikTok influencers,” they wrote in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post.

TikTok has faced scrutiny about the security risks it poses, both to individual data privacy and to national security. The concerns reach back to the Trump administration when then-President Donald Trump pushed to ban the app from the U.S.

Watch the video report below for more details:

Sources: DailyWire, CNBC/Youtube, WashingtonExaminer

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