Alabama, Iowa, and North Dakota joined in banning the app with Chinese ties from government devices.
“Protecting Alabamians’ right to privacy is a must, and I surely don’t take a security threat from China lightly. That’s why I have banned the use of the TikTok app on our state devices and network. #alpolitics,” Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) tweeted.
Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) explained that “It is clear that TikTok represents a national security risk to our country and I refuse to subject the citizens of Iowa to that risk,” in a statement announcing her directive to state agencies.
“TikTok raises multiple flags in terms of the amount of data it collects and how that data may be shared with and used by the Chinese government,” Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) said, announcing his executive order banning the app on executive branch agencies’ devices.
Two rising GOP stars have yet to make a definitive move regarding the controversial app. A front-runner for Republicans in prospective 2024 presidential polls, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) office did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment. Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R-VA) office also did not offer a comment to the Washington Examiner on the recent TikTok bans.
A spokesperson for Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) said that “Ohio has, and has had, robust security and social media usage policies for many years now,” adding that reviews regarding security as it concerns apps like Tiktok are constant and “ongoing.”
The movement is not confined to state governments, however. On Tuesday, a group of bipartisan federal lawmakers introduced bills to ban the app in the U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced the Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act, emphasizing the measure’s urgent nature.
Despite Krishnamoorthi’s inclusion in the federal bill, the effort to protect cyber infrastructure from China across the country has been largely carried out by Republican leaders.
In response to the bill’s introduction, a TikTok spokesperson told the Washington Examiner, “It is troubling that rather than encouraging the administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically-motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States. TikTok is loved by millions of Americans who use the platform to learn, grow their businesses, and connect with creative content that brings them joy. We will continue to brief members of Congress on the plans that have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies — plans that we are well underway in implementing — to further secure our platform in the United States.”