SEE IT: South Carolina governor issues directive for removal of TikTok on state devices

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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, right, walks through the Republican Governors Association conference, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

SEE IT: South Carolina governor issues directive for removal of TikTok on state devices

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Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC) issued a directive Monday asking that the social media app TikTok be “permanently removed” from devices managed by the South Carolina Department of Administration.

“Protecting our State’s critical cyber infrastructure from foreign and domestic threats is key to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our citizens and businesses,” he wrote to Executive Director Marcia Adams. “Federal law enforcement and national security officials have warned that TikTok poses a clear and present danger to its users, and a growing bi-partisan coalition in Congress is pushing to ban access to TikTok in the United States.”

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McMaster explained that there are “dangers and inefficiencies” as a result of the state’s “‘siloed’ cyber infrastructure,” adding that state agencies should partner with the department to remedy this.

“This partnership allows the State’s cyber infrastructure to be maintained and managed in a comprehensive and cohesive fashion,” he wrote.

However, McMaster is not confident that all agencies will follow his advice and thus asked for “a listing of state agencies for whom the department is unable to permanently block access to TikTok.”

Last week, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) similarly banned the app on state devices via executive order. “South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” she said in a press release. “The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.”

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The app maintains that users’ data are safe and overseen by federal officials, but politicians and agency leaders remain skeptical. Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr recently said the United States should ban the app. He went so far as to say, “I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban.”

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