Texas Governor Greg Abbott joined other Republican state officials in banning TikTok, a social media app that allows users to share their personal videos.
In a letter to the heads of state agencies, Abbott said that all state employees and officers in Texas would be prohibited from using TikTok on their government-issued devices.
In his letter, Abbott said that the ban applies to all state-issued devices, such as cell phones and tablets. He also noted that the department responsible for implementing the ban should enforce it.
TikTok claimed that it stores the data of its users in the U.S., but in a letter to Congress, the company admitted that employees in China could access this data.
In China, companies are required to assist the country's intelligence agencies in various ways, such as by sharing information. TikTok's algorithm has already censored politically sensitive topics, such as the protests that occurred in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Abbott noted that he would like to see legislation that would allow the state to ban the app.
Abbott also asked the departments of public safety and information resources to develop a plan to prevent state agencies from using TikTok on their devices.
The plan must address various issues, such as the security of government accounts and sensitive locations, the identification of agency personnel, and the possible exposure of data on TikTok-enabled devices. It should also include network-based restrictions that would prevent the app from being used on state property. Other apps, hardware, software, or services should be considered as well.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem made a big impact last week by issuing an executive order banning the use of TikTok on state-issued devices. After Noem's order, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued a directive to remove the app from state-owned devices.
In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan ordered the removal of TikTok from state-run technology assets.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Washington Examiner.