Louisiana and West Virginia are among the latest states to enact a ban on all TikTok usage, due to worries that China may be able to use it as an instrument of surveillance over Americans or their content.
Recently, nineteen American states have either fully or partially blocked devices used by state governments from accessing TikTok, a Chinese company owned by Bytedance Limited of Beijing. This series of bans transpired within the last two weeks.
Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardonin has unequivocally prohibited the use of TikTok on any device owned by his agency, citing plausible security concerns without disclosing the present dangers. Likewise, West Virginia’s state comptroller JB McCowski issued a similar decree in his home state to ensure safety and security.
Last week, many government representatives proposed a far-reaching ban on the platform across America, paralleling the footsteps of those nations – such as India – that have already prohibited people from using it.
Since the start of 2021, Jamf Holding Corp. (which provides software to organizations for revisions and security checks on iPhones and other Apple devices) has noticed that their government clients have already barred access to TikTok. This is a testament to how powerful this innovative technology can be in keeping user data safe from malicious actors.
This month, the company noticed that 65% of attempts to contact TikTok were blocked on devices operated by its public sector clients around the world. This figure is a 10% increase from last June’s block rate for these same contacts. Schools and other organizations are among those being affected by this increased blocking rate.
On Monday, TikTok strongly denounced the fact that several states are blindly embracing political agendas to pass policies based on unproven claims about the company that will not even serve America’s national security.
For many months now, US government representatives and TikTok executives have been discussing a national security accord to address worries surrounding China’s potential access to the information of more than 100 million American users on the app.