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Five states ban TikTok from government devices, more bans likely

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Depending on whom you ask, TikTok is either a fun and engaging social media app or a tool of the Chinese Communist Party posing serious threats to national security. A growing list of lawmakers think it’s the latter.

Indiana filed two lawsuits against TikTok this week, alleging the social media company is deceiving consumers about its content and data security.

In one suit, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, a Republican, accused TikTok of exposing kids to negative and explicit material. In the other, Rokita said TikTok’s parent company, China-based ByteDance, is collecting sensitive material from users and sharing it with the Chinese government. The Wall Street Journal reported both lawsuits seek changes to TikTok’s practices.

In the last two weeks, governors from Texas, Maryland, North Dakota and South Dakota have all taken steps to ban TikTok from all government devices. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, R, was ahead of his Republican counterparts, banning TikTok from state devices in 2020. South Carolina is in the process of banning the app on devices managed by the state.

Republican governors are far from the only ones calling for TikTok to be removed from the marketplace. Six of Wisconsin’s congressional delegates asked the state’s governor to issue a ban. The Arkansas legislature is drafting a bill for the 2023 session that would ban TikTok, and a commissioner with the FCC said last month the federal government should issue a nationwide ban on the app.

Every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces has banned TikTok on military devices. FBI Director Christopher Wray said China could use the app for traditional espionage operations.

TikTok’s chief operating officer, who is based in Los Angeles, said the company protects all American users’ data and that the Chinese government doesn’t have access to it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gov. Ricketts is the son of Straight Arrow News CEO Joe Ricketts.

DEPENDING ON WHOM YOU ASK, TIK TOK IS EITHER A FUN AND ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA APP, OR IT’S A TOOL OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY THAT POSES A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY.

JUDGING BY RECENT ACTIONS, A GROWING NUMBER OF LAWMAKERS THINK IT’S THE LATTER.

THIS WEEK,THE STATE OF INDIANA FILED TWO LAWSUITS AGAINST TIKTOK, ALLEGING THE SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANY IS DECEIVING CONSUMERS ABOUT ITS CONTENT AND DATA SECURITY.

IN ONE SUIT, INDIANA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL ACCUSED TIKTOK OF EXPOSING KIDS TO EXPLICIT MATERIAL. IN THE OTHER, THE AG SAYS TIKTOK’S PARENT COMPANY, CHINA-BASED BYTEDANCE, IS COLLECTING SENSITIVE MATERIAL FROM USERS AND SHARING IT WITH THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT.

IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS, GOVERNORS FROM TEXAS, MARYLAND, NORTH AND SOUTH DAKOTA HAVE ALL TAKEN STEPS TO BAN TIKTOK FROM ALL GOVERNMENT DEVICES. NEBRASKA GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS WAS AHEAD OF HIS REPUBLICAN COUNTERPARTS, BANNING TIKTOK FROM STATE DEVICES BACK IN 2020

SOUTH CAROLINA IS IN THE PROCESS OF BANNING THE APP ON DEVICES MANAGED BY THE STATE.

REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ARE FAR FROM THE ONLY ONES CALLING FOR TIKTOK TO BE REMOVED FROM THE MARKETPLACE. SIX OF WISCONSIN’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATES ASKED THE STATE’S GOVERNOR TO ISSUE A BAN. THE ARKANSAS LEGISLATURE IS DRAFTING A BILL FOR THE 2023 SESSION THAT WOULD BAN TIK TOK, AND A COMMISSIONER WITH THE FCC SAID LAST MONTH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD ISSUE A NATION-WIDE BAN ON THE APP.

EVERY BRANCH OF THE U.S. ARMED FORCES BAN TIKTOK ON MILITARY DEVICES. FBI DIRECTOR CHRIS WRAY SAID CHINA COULD USE THE APP FOR TRADITIONAL ESPIONAGE OPERATIONS.

TIKTOK’S CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, WHO IS BASED IN LOS ANGELES, SAID THE COMPANY PROTECTS ALL AMERICAN USERS’ DATA, AND THAT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T HAVE ACCESS TO IT.

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3 Other sources covering this story

Bias Distribution

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C 33%
R 67%

67% of the sources are Right

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Depending on whom you ask, TikTok is either a fun and engaging social media app or a tool of the Chinese Communist Party posing serious threats to national security. A growing list of lawmakers think it’s the latter.

Indiana filed two lawsuits against TikTok this week, alleging the social media company is deceiving consumers about its content and data security.

In one suit, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, a Republican, accused TikTok of exposing kids to negative and explicit material. In the other, Rokita said TikTok’s parent company, China-based ByteDance, is collecting sensitive material from users and sharing it with the Chinese government. The Wall Street Journal reported both lawsuits seek changes to TikTok’s practices.

In the last two weeks, governors from Texas, Maryland, North Dakota and South Dakota have all taken steps to ban TikTok from all government devices. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, R, was ahead of his Republican counterparts, banning TikTok from state devices in 2020. South Carolina is in the process of banning the app on devices managed by the state.

Republican governors are far from the only ones calling for TikTok to be removed from the marketplace. Six of Wisconsin’s congressional delegates asked the state’s governor to issue a ban. The Arkansas legislature is drafting a bill for the 2023 session that would ban TikTok, and a commissioner with the FCC said last month the federal government should issue a nationwide ban on the app.

Every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces has banned TikTok on military devices. FBI Director Christopher Wray said China could use the app for traditional espionage operations.

TikTok’s chief operating officer, who is based in Los Angeles, said the company protects all American users’ data and that the Chinese government doesn’t have access to it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gov. Ricketts is the son of Straight Arrow News CEO Joe Ricketts.

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