South Carolina has officially become the second state in the country to issue a permanent ban against TikTok for all state employees’ electronic devices as many federal officials sound the call to be careful that the Chinese-based social media app threatens national security.
Increasing worries about national security regarding the social media platform has been marked by legislators for attention recently in the wake of the Federal Communications Commission stating that the government agency was not able to apply regulations to the social media app or block the data of American citizens from making its way back to both Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who forces the company to share its gathered data when requested under the National Intelligence Law created for the nation back in 2017.
In accordance with a series of warning signs from many federal officials, Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina stepped up to take action regarding any state employees, alleging that the social media platform is “a clear and present danger to its users,” as a growing bi-partisan group throughout Congress attempts to push for a nationwide ban on the app.
“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,” stated McMaster in a letter to Marcia Adams, the Executive Director of the state’s Department of Administration.
The Department of Administration is responsible for carrying out the standard government functions to the tune of managing mobile devices, internet services, computers, and other online devices at state agencies focusing on cybersecurity.
As part of his letter to Adams, McMaster called for an accounting of agencies not currently utilizing the various shared services, stating several agencies still try and operate in a “silo.”
“I ask that you provide my office with a listing of state agencies for whom the department is unable to permanently block access to TikTok,” he stated.
McMaster’s mandate walks the same path as the one from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who was first to quickly ban all state employees from utilizing the app late last week, claiming that the officials would have “no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us.”
“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,” Noem stated in a recent release.