Kristi Noem Bans TikTok for State Gov't, Cites 'Growing National Security Threat'


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is banning state government employees and contractors from downloading or accessing TikTok on state devices.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Noem wrote, “South Dakota is banning TikTok for state government. We will have no part in intelligence gathering for China, a nation that hates America.”

“I hope other states quickly follow this example and protect the vital private information of our citizens,” she added.

She also shared a press release detailing the scope of the ban.

It applies to “state government agencies, employees, and contractors using state devices.”

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Specifically, it bans the download of TikTok or visiting its website on state-owned or state-leased devices.

“This order is in response to the growing national security threat posed by TikTok due to its data gathering operations on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” the release said.

In a statement, Noem said, “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 South Dakota governor’s order comes amid growing concerns about the social media app.

In June, BuzzFeed reported that China-based employees of TikTok’s parent company had accessed nonpublic data from users of the app.

TikTok has claimed users’ data is secure because it is not stored in China. However, Axios notes along with the June Buzzfeed report, “a series of recent reports have challenged” the company’s claim about the security of users’ data.

Brendan Carr, a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, told Axios he believes the app should be banned in the U.S. due to concerns about data security, and also China potentially using the platform to influence elections.

“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” he said.

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Carr added he believes there is not “a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party].”

In 2020, then-President Donald Trump attempted to ban TikTok. However, he was not successful and faced criticism from progressives.

But since then, the mood appears to be changing. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) told Fox News earlier this month he believes Trump was “right” to try to ban TikTok because it is “an enormous threat.”

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