AP

Mississippi governor bans TikTok from government devices

Jan 11, 2023, 2:39 AM | Updated: 4:49 pm

FILE - The TikTok logo is seen on a cell phone on Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. TikTok will be banned f...

FILE - The TikTok logo is seen on a cell phone on Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. TikTok will be banned from all Mississippi-issued government devices and the state’s network, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in a letter to department and agency heads. Reeves says he issued the directive to safeguard sensitive information from the popular social media app. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — TikTok will be banned from all Mississippi-issued government devices and the state’s network, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday in a letter to department and agency heads.

The Republican said he issued the directive to safeguard sensitive information from the popular social media app, which is owned by private Chinese company ByteDance Ltd. The app’s ownership has raised fears that Beijing could use it to scoop up user data or push pro-China narratives or misinformation.

Reeves cited concerns over “extensive tracking of user data and the potential access and transfer of this data to the Chinese government.”

“It’s no secret that the Chinese Communist Party is actively trying to steal U.S. intellectual property and Americans’ personal information,” Reeves said in a news release. “Mississippi isn’t going to sit around waiting for the Chinese Communist Party to steal our state government data.”

TikTok has said it prioritizes its community’s privacy and security and that it is working to address security concerns raised by the U.S.

Similar moves to prohibit TikTok on government devices have been made by top officials in about one-third of U.S. states, a large share of them Republicans. On Jan. 6, Wisconsin’s Democratic governor announced he plans to introduce a ban on the use of TikTok on state phones. Kansas’ Democratic governor has also issued a ban.

Congress recently banned TikTok from most U.S. government-issued devices over bipartisan concerns about security.

Reeves’ directive would compel state agencies to ensure no state employees download or use TikTok or other software applications developed by ByteDance on state-issued devices. He also directed the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services to block access to TikTok from the state network.

Mississippi state employees have been directed to remove, delete and uninstall all relevant applications from state-issued devices by Jan. 31.

___

Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mikergoldberg.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo: A delegate wears a hat with pins during the Republican National Convention Monday, July 15, ...

Christine Fernando, Steve People and Jill Colvin, The Associated Press

Rep. Walsh speaks for Washington as cheering GOP delegates nominate Trump for president

Cheering GOP delegates formally nominated Donald Trump for president at Monday's Republican National Convention kickoff.

9 days ago

Photo: Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, right, points toward Republican presidential candidate former Presi...

Jill Colvin, Julie Carr Smyth, Steve Peoples and Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate

Donald Trump named Sen. JD Vance of Ohio as his running mate, choosing a onetime critic who became a loyal ally.

9 days ago

trump assassination...

Ayanna Alexander, The Associated Press

What to know about Trump assassination attempt and the investigation into the shooting

Authorities want to know how a shooter was able to get on top of a roof so close to where former President Donald Trump was speaking and open fire.

9 days ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret...

Julie Carr Smyth, Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, Michael Balsamo, Eric Tucker and Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump called for unity and resilience after an attempt on his life added fresh uncertainty to an already tumultuous presidential campaign.

10 days ago

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday,...

Will Weissert and Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

In primetime address, Biden says country must not go down road of political violence

President Joe Biden says “we can’t, we must not go down” the road of political violence in America after the attempted Trump assassination.

10 days ago

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference following the NATO Summit in Washington, Thu...

Zeke Miller, Seung Min Kim, Lisa Mascaro and Colleen Long, The Associated Press

Biden says during news conference he’s going to ‘complete the job’ despite calls to bow out

Biden used his highly anticipated news conference to deliver a defense of his policies and batted away questions about his ability to serve.

13 days ago

Mississippi governor bans TikTok from government devices