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Governor Glenn Youngkin Bans TikTok and WeChat on State Devices and State-Run Wireless Networks

Youngkin argues he's "safeguarding Virginians’ proprietary information from Chinese Communist Party"

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Interesting move by Youngkin (see below) re: TikTok. By the way, the US Senate on Wednesday “unanimously approved legislation that would ban the use of TikTok on government phones and devices as part of the push to combat security concerns related to the Chinese-owned social media company.” Also, according to this, “Sixteen states have taken action against TikTok…All actions states have taken against TikTok so far have been announced and led by Republicans.”

P.S. In October, Sen. Mark Warner said “TikTok appears to remain — despite the claims of its US executives — beholden to its China-based leadership. With each new report, there’s further evidence that TikTok’s claimed “independence” is illusory.” And last week, he said he has “two concerns on TikTok,” one being the fact that TikTok “absorbs so much information, disproportionately from young people (our eye movements, our keystrokes)” and that “it’s the Communist Party of China potentially collecting this information”; and also that TikTok is a “communications network…as long as these algorithms are being written by Chinese engineers in Beijing, they could turn the dial…as more and more kids get their news from TikTok, you could end up becoming victims of frankly what is Communist Party propaganda.”

P.P.S. Also, Sen. Tim Kaine said last week, “The capacity of the operators of TikTok to extract – unknowingly extract personal data from those who use it – is a very significant threat…And I think that suggests that people should have a great deal of caution in using TikTok.”

Governor Glenn Youngkin Bans TikTok and WeChat on State Devices and State-Run Wireless Networks

Safeguarding Virginians’ proprietary information from Chinese Communist Party

RICHMOND, VA – Today, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin issued Executive Order #24, banning the use of certain Chinese-owned mobile phone applications and websites on state government technology.

The Executive Order bans TikTok and WeChat, and any other applications developed by ByteDance Limited or Tencent Holdings Limited on state government devices and wireless (WIFI) networks and requires businesses who contract with the state government to also prohibit the use of those applications on state-owned devices or IT infrastructure. The Executive Order applies to all Executive Offices and Executive Branch Agencies.

“TikTok and WeChat data are a channel to the Chinese Communist Party, and their continued presence represents a threat to national security, the intelligence community, and the personal privacy of every single American,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We are taking this step today to secure state government devices and wireless networks from the threat of infiltration and ensure that we safeguard the data and cybersecurity of state government.”

“All Americans must be vigilant to stop infiltration by the CCP and all hostile governments and entities who wish the United States harm,” said Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears.

“Not only does TikTok pose a threat to national security and consumer privacy, but studies have shown that it negatively impacts the mental health of our youth,” said Attorney General Jason Miyares. “In March, I joined a bipartisan coalition of 43 other attorneys general to investigate TikTok’s physical and mental impact on children. As this investigation continues, I am glad that Governor Youngkin is addressing the serious security risks TikTok poses for the Commonwealth.”

Executive Order #24 can be found here.

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