Gov. Mark Gordon Bans TikTok from State-Issued Devices and Networks
The governor cites potential for foreign governments to access info app collects as a concern
- Published In: Other News & Features
- Last Updated: Dec 15, 2022
TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media app, has been banned by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon from state-issued devices and networks. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
By Shen Wu Tan
Special to the Wyoming Truth
Gov. Mark Gordon on Thursday banned TikTok from all state government electronic devices and networks in response to cybersecurity concerns that have emerged from the app’s foreign ownership.
In a memo addressed to all state employees, Gordon ordered that TikTok be permanently removed and access blocked from all state-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers and other information technology equipment that can access the internet.
“Maintaining robust cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and Wyoming is committed to identifying threats that could impact public safety,” Gordon said in a statement. “The potential for foreign governments to access information collected by TikTok is extremely troubling.”
The ban follows a unanimous vote Wednesday by the U.S. Senate to approve legislation that would forbid the use of the Chinese-owned social media app on government phones and devices. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the bill called the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act,” which prohibits certain people from downloading or using the app on any device issued by the U.S. or government corporation.
In his memo, Gordon acknowledged the growing concerns about the potential cybersecurity threats that the app raises.
“The risk is that TikTok may be compelled to share information with those who are adverse to Wyoming’s interests,” Gordon stated. “Law enforcement warns that TikTok may not control its algorithm, allowing users’ devices to be compromised.”
With the governor’s order, Wyoming joins at least 12 other states that have banned TikTok from state-issued devices. The memo from the governor also directs state technology and security agencies to conduct a review of any other possible technology-based threats to state government networks.
Other states that have issued bans are Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.