US: Georgia bans TikTok from state govt-issued phones, computers
Washington: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an order banning the video-sharing social media platform TikTok on all state government-issued telephones and computers due to national security concerns China may be able to access sensitive information.
"Accordingly, effective immediately every executive branch agency, department, division, bureau, board, authority, and commission in Georgia shall prohibit the use of TikTok, WeChat, and Telegram on all systems and devices (including laptops and mobile devices) that are issued, owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the state or used for state business," Kemp said in the order on Thursday, a copy of which was posted on Twitter.
This comes a day after the US Senate passed a measure to ban TikTok from being used or downloaded on any federal device.
Kemp said his decision is due to concerns that Chinese intelligence can access American users' data through the social media app. New Hampshire, Alabama, Texas, and North Dakota have also banned the use of TikTok on state government-issued devices as well.
On Tuesday, US Senator Marco Rubio introduced bipartisan legislation to ban the Chinese social media platform TikTok from operating in the United States while Congressmen Mike Gallagher and Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives, the office of the senator said in a press release.
"US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the United States," Rubio's office said in a statement.
"US Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced companion legislation in the US House of Representatives." Senator Rubio said the federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok.
"We know it's used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People's Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good," he added.
The legislation is called the Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act (ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act) and is expected to protect Americans by blocking and prohibiting all transactions from any social media company in China, among other countries.
The bill also requires the US President to block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of social media companies with more than 1 million users located in Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.