Gov. Brian Kemp has banned TikTok on all state government phones and computers. Several other states have already banned the app. The fear is the Chinese government could misuse customers’ data.
ATLANTA – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp banned the social media platform TikTok from government-issued cellphones and computers on Thursday, joining a growing list of GOP governors taking aim at the video-sharing app over security concerns.
In a memo sent to the state's agency heads, Kemp cited concerns over the platform’s Chinese ownership and growing worries over its possible national security threat.
"The state of Georgia has a responsibility to prevent any attempts to access its secure data and sensitive information by foreign agencies such as the [Chinese Communist Party]," Kemp wrote. "The CCP poses an ever-present national security threat to the United States and Georgia. As such, it is our duty to take action to preserve the safety and security of our state."
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In this photo illustration, a Tik Tok logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Effective immediacy, all systems and devices issued by Georgia to the state's branch agencies, departments, divisions, and more or used for state business will be prohibited from using TikTok, WeChat, and Telegram.
Kemp's order follows multiple other governors calling cybersecurity risks presented by the platform, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance.
On Wednesday, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum banned the media app. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan banned the use of TikTok and certain China and Russia-based platforms in the state’s executive branch of government last week. And South Dakota’s Republican governor, Kristi Noem, previously banned state employees and contractors from accessing TikTok on state-owned devices, citing its ties to China.
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On Wednesday, TikTok responded to bans, saying in a statement that it’s "disappointed that so many states are jumping on the bandwagon to enact policies based on unfounded, politically charged falsehoods about TikTok. It is unfortunate that the many state agencies, offices, and universities on TikTok in those states will no longer be able to use it to build communities and connect with constituents."
Following suit with several other states, a state senator wants Georgia to ban the use of TikTok.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who is also a Republican, last week banned the use of TikTok and certain China and Russia-based platforms in the state’s executive branch of government. And South Dakota’s Republican governor, Kristi Noem, previously banned state employees and contractors from accessing TikTok on state-owned devices, citing its ties to China.
Georgia state Sen. Jason Anvavitarte, who represents has previously announced that he plans to sponsor legislation banning the app completely in the state.
The FCC commissioner has also called for a nationwide ban on the app.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp bans TikTok on state phones, computers – FOX 5 Atlanta