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Wisconsin will ban TikTok on all state devices over cybersecurity concerns, Gov. Tony Evers announces
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin will join the growing list of states to ban the use of the popular social media site TikTok on all state-issued devices over cybersecurity concerns.
Gov. Tony Evers said Friday he would issue an executive order by early next week.
“We consulted with the FBI and our emergency management and came to the conclusion it’s the best idea,” Evers told WISN’s Matt Smith.
In early December, Wisconsin’s Republican delegation in Washington D.C. sent Evers a letter asking the governor to delete his own TikTok account and ban the video-sharing app from state devices.
The letter to Evers came following warnings from U.S. intelligence officials that TikTok, owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, poses a potential national security risk.
Evers does not have a personal or official TikTok account, but one was created during his re-election campaign. His campaign TikTok was not used or maintained on a government device, doing so would have been illegal under Wisconsin state law.
The letter, signed by U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher, Tom Tiffany, Glenn Grothman, Bryan Steil and Scott Fitzgerald, as well as U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, said the Chinese government could use the site to spy on users and promote Chinese Communist Party propaganda.
“Wisconsinites expect their governor to be aware of the dangerous national security threats TikTok poses and to protect them from this avenue for CCP intelligence operations,” the letter said.
As of Dec. 14, 18 states have banned TikTok on all state devices since 2020. Four other states have a partial ban. On Dec. 7, 2022, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced two lawsuits against TikTok alleging misleading advertising and misleading policies surrounding data sharing with the Chinese government.
TikTok executive Michael Beckerman, who leads the company’s public policy work for the Americas, testified in front of Congress in 2021 that the company does not share user data with the Chinese government.
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