Claiming national security concerns, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has banned the popular social media platform TikTok on state-owned devices.

The executive order specifies that state government agencies, employees, and contractors using state devices are no longer allowed to have the TikTok app on their devices. “This order is in response to the growing national security threat posed by TikTok due to its data gathering operations on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” the governor’s office said in a statement.

The order takes effect immediately and applies to employees and agencies of the State of South Dakota, including persons and entities who contract with the state, commissions, and authorities or agents thereof. The order prohibits downloading or using the TikTok application or visiting the website on state-owned or state-leased electronic devices capable of internet connectivity.

“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” said Gov. Noem. “The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.”

The governor added, “because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well.”

There have been a number of attempts to ban TikTok from the country writ large, as well as ban it on devices owned by specific agencies, as well as the Federal government as a whole. The U.S. Senate has also probed military and national security personnel’s use of the app in both a professional and personal capacity. Concerns over using TikTok on government devices have been bipartisan, although most Federal legislation looking to ban the social media platform has come from Republican legislators.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs