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TikTok ban: More states prohibit the famous platform in US

State agencies in West Virginia and Louisiana joined a list of states on Monday banning Chinese software on government-owned smartphones amid rising worries that China may use TikTok as a surveillance tool against Americans.

Growing Concerns

TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., is now only partially accessible on public computers in 19 of the 50 US states. Most restrictions went into force in the last two weeks, which is a sign of growing US skepticism of the platform.

Some senators proposed an international ban last week, following countries like India that have already made the short-form video app illegal.

Since the middle of the year, the government customers of Jamf Holding Corp., which sells software to businesses to provide filtering and safety measures on iPhones and other Apple devices, have gradually blocked access to TikTok.

Nearly 65% of the app connection attempts have been blocked on devices managed by Jamf’s public sector clients globally this month, up significantly from 10% in June, the business reports.

However, it reiterated a statement it had previously made. The business expressed disappointment that many states were jumping on the political bandwagon to enact regulations based on unfounded misinformation about the app.

Read more: TikTok reportedly promotes suicidal thoughts and self-harm to young people

TikTok Banned From US States

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A teenager presents a smartphone with the logo of Chinese social network Tik Tok, on January 21, 2021 in Nantes, western France. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

In Louisiana, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin asserted that TikTok had been prohibited on all office-owned devices, citing potential security dangers but failing to disclose any real issues. JB McCuskey, the state auditor for West Virginia, claimed that his office did the same.

Many governments, especially Republican states, have already banned the app’s use on state-owned devices since 2020. Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Maryland, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas are some of these.

Georgia just joined the list of states that forbid TikTok from being used on government-owned property. In addition to TikTok, Governor Brian Kemp barred governmental organizations from using WeChat and Telegram.

Former President Donald Trump tried to discourage new users from downloading TikTok in 2020. He could not complete other transactions that would have effectively stopped the app’s usage in the US after losing many legal challenges.

Due to concerns that US user data would be handed to China’s communist government, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) ordered ByteDance to sell its TikTok shares in 2020.

Read more: TikTok banned: US passes bill to restrict the app from government devices

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