Lawmakers in North Carolina are calling on Gov. Roy Cooper to ban the social media platform TikTok from all state governmental devices, following the lead of Congress and a number of governors across the country.
As reported by WRAL, Reps. Jason Saine and Jon Hardister, both Republican members of the NC House, sent a letter to Gov. Cooper on Wednesday, calling for an executive order to ban the app. If not, the two promise to work “swiftly” to write such a ban into state law next year. They call the issue “a matter of national security.”
“If sensitive data is breached, it could pose both an economic and a security threat for North Carolina,” they wrote in part. “We have a responsibility to prevent this from happening.”
Cooper spokesman Jordan Monaghan said the state is “constantly updating guidance to ensure cyber security and is reviewing state government use of TikTok and considering potential additional safety measures.”
Standard Text Rates Apply
Considered one of the world’s most popular social media apps, the video-based TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a company based in Beijing, China. For years, government officials and privacy advocates have warned that the Chinese government may have been stealing users’ data through the app, which is mostly geared toward young people. Recently, CIA Director Bill Burns told PBS NewsHour that the Chinese government “insist upon extracting the private data of a lot of TikTok users in this country and also shape the content of what goes on to TikTok as well to suit the interests of the Chinese leadership.”
Last week, Congress passed a $1.7 trillion spending bill that would include such a ban on the federal level. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law soon. At least 15 Republican governors in the US have put through similar bans in their respective state legislatures, with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly becoming the first Democratic governor to pass a TikTok ban this week.