Texarkana Gazette

Gov. Abbott announces plan to ban TikTok on state devices


DALLAS — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday a statewide plan to ban TikTok on state-issued devices.

“Texans, especially our state agencies and employees, must be protected from having sensitive informatio­n shared with the Chinese Communist Party,” he wrote on Twitter. “We cannot ignore this security threat.”

The model plan, released with Monday’s announceme­nt, outlined objectives “to protect Texas’ sensitive informatio­n and critical infrastruc­ture from potential threats,” including banning TikTok and preventing the download of the app (and other prohibited technologi­es) on state-issued devices, such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets.

It also calls to prohibit employees or contractor­s from conducting state business on devices with TikTok or the other banned technology.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Informatio­n Resources developed a plan for state agencies on managing personal and state-issued devices used to conduct state business. Each agency will have until Feb. 15 to implement its own policy to enforce this statewide plan.

This announceme­nt comes about a month after he ordered state agencies to ban the use of TikTok on government-issued devices.

Multiple Texas colleges and universiti­es responded by ordering employees to immediatel­y remove TikTok from all state-issued devices. They later blocked students on campus Wi-Fi from accessing the app.

Shortly after those calls to action, members of the U.S. Congress introduced legislatio­n to ban TikTok across the nation, citing concerns the Chinese government is gaining access to critical informatio­n through the app. The bill’s sponsors said the new legislatio­n would seek to protect Americans from foreign adversarie­s who might try to use TikTok to gather sensitive data.

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