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Texas plans blanket ban on TikTok at all state agencies, universities

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced plans to remove TikTok from the devices of higher education institutions and all state agencies in an attempt to remove the popular Chinese-founded social media platform from the state government entirely. is.

More than 20 US states have placed restrictions on TikTok’s functionality on state-owned devices, including Texas, which announced restrictions in December. Policies that enforce bans can be enforced.

“The security risks associated with using TikTok on devices used to conduct vital state business should not be underestimated or ignored,” Abbott said in a statement.

Abbott’s Model Security Plan for Banned Technologies Restrict Using TikTok on state-issued devices prevents people from conducting official state business on personal devices that can access TikTok. The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Information Resources produced this plan.

“Government agencies must not only prevent the use of prohibited technology on state-issued devices, but also prohibit employees and contractors from conducting state-owned businesses using personal devices with prohibited technology. We have to,” says the plan. “State-owned businesses include access to state-owned data, applications, email accounts, or non-public communications.”

According to the plan, the limit will apply to state employees and contractors, as well as interns and “national network users” at all state institutions and higher education institutions.

TikTok said the state ban would be counterproductive.

“An unintended consequence of TikTok’s sudden ban—a policy that does nothing to advance cybersecurity—is that the university will not be able to share information, recruit students, exercise teams, student groups, and campus publications. We regret that it is beginning to impact our ability to build communities around , and more,” said TikTok spokesperson Jamal Brown in a statement.

Texas’ plans also apply to a wider range of technology platforms than TikTok. Companies like Huawei, ZTE, Tencent and Kaspersky were all on the state’s list of banned technologies.

Implementation of TikTok restrictions in Texas presents an important test of how the government enforces various bans and provides insight into the feasibility of broader bans outside government networks. increase.

Congress passed a ban restricting the use of TikTok by federal officials late last year, giving the Biden administration 60 days to implement the new restrictions. The Biden administration responded late last month to concerns from Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley about the lack of signs of progress toward implementation of the law since it was signed into law in late December. I sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget.

Hawley also proposed banning TikTok from all US devices last month.

President Biden’s administration is maintaining a national security review of TikTok that began during the Trump administration amid concerns that Americans’ data is being exposed to China.

• Part of this article is based on news agency reports. Texas plans blanket ban on TikTok at all state agencies, universities

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