North Dakota governor bans TikTok in executive agencies

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has banned the popular social media app TikTok from devices owned by the state government’s executive branch, joining several other Republican governors who have done so citing the platform’s Chinese ownership and growing national security worries.

Burgum announced the executive order late Tuesday. In addition to prohibiting downloads of TikTok on government-issued equipment or while connected to the state’s network, it bars visiting the TikTok website.

“TikTok raises multiple flags in terms of the amount of data it collects and how that data may be shared with and used by the Chinese government,” Burgum said in a statement.

North Dakota is the latest state to allege cybersecurity risks presented by the platform, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance.

TikTok said in a statement Wednesday 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.”

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.

South Carolina’s Republican governor, Henry McMaster, last week asked that state’s Department of Administration to ban TikTok from all state government devices it manages. And Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, blocked TikTok on state electronic devices in August 2020.

Wisconsin’s Republican representatives in Congress last week called on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to delete the video platform TikTok from all state government devices, calling it a national security threat.

The U.S. armed forces also have prohibited the app on military devices.

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