Gov. Kelly bans TikTok from state-owned devices, prohibits access on state network

photo by: John Hanna/Associated Press

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly speaks during an event at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka on Thursday, March 24, 2022.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has signed an executive order banning the use of the social media platform TikTok on all state-owned devices for Kansas executive branch agencies, boards, and commissions and their respective employees, and prohibiting access on the state network.

Kelly’s order is in response to the national security and privacy risks posed by TikTok, whose parent company is a Chinese-owned company subject to Chinese government requests for data, technology and other intellectual property, the governor’s office said in a news release Wednesday.

The order does not include employees in the Board of Regents, Regents Institutions, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Secretary of State, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Office of the State Treasurer, the Department of Education, the judicial branch, nor the legislative branch of government.

Kelly is also calling on all other state entities to implement similar policies.

“Today, I am taking common-sense steps to protect Kansans’ privacy and security,” Kelly said. “TikTok mines users’ data and potentially makes it available to the Chinese Communist Party — a threat recognized by a growing group of bipartisan leaders across the United States.”

The order is in response to recent warnings from both the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission that user data from the social media platform TikTok is potentially being shared with the Chinese government, posing both a national and cybersecurity threat.

Kansas joins Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Nebraska and the federal government in implementing security policies related to TikTok.

In addition to state action, Congress recently enacted a TikTok ban on all federal devices due to potential security concerns.


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