Texas Governor Greg Abbott reveals plans to ban TikTok from state devices

Texas Governor Greg Abbott reveals plans to ban TikTok from state devices to make sure employees are ‘protected’ from the Chinese Communist Party

  • Abbott cited ‘security risks’ of the popular Chinese-owned app 
  • He said it ‘harvests significant amounts of data from a user’s device’
  • Announcement comes after military shot down spy balloon over Atlantic 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced plans to ban state workers and agencies from using TikTok, citing the risks of having data compromised.

‘Texans, especially our state agencies and employees, must be protected from having sensitive information shared with the Chinese Communist Party,’ he tweeted. ‘We cannot ignore this security threat.’

Abbott, a potential Republican presidential candidate who has grabbed headlines by shipping buses filled with migrants and asylum seekers to to Washington and New York, cited the potential for data harvesting from the popular app.  

‘The security risks associated with the use of TikTok on devices used to conduct the important business of our state must not be underestimated or ignored,’ he said, with an announcement that came after a U.S. military jet fired a missile at a 200-foot tall Chinese balloon that the White House said was conducting surveillance over the U.S.   

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced a plan to ban state agencies 

‘Owned by a Chinese company that employs Chinese Communist Party members, TikTok harvests significant amounts of data from a user’s device, including details about a user’s internet activity,’ he said.

The plan would prevent state-owned devices from downloading the app. 

‘It is critical that state agencies and employees are protected from the vulnerabilities presented by the use of this app and other prohibited technologies as they work on behalf of their fellow Texans. He described the app an ‘hostile foreign actors’ as a potential threat to ‘sensitive information’ as well as infrastructure.

The announcement came as he released a ‘model plan‘ for prohibited technologies that state agencies or higher eduction institutions might otherwise use. 

The plan also applies to contractors who do business with the state.

Abbott is a potential 2024 presidential candidate who won reelection by a solid margin and has gotten attention on the immigration crisis, a key issue for Republican primary voters.

Abbott's announcement came after the U.S. downed a Chinese spy balloon

Abbott’s announcement came after the U.S. downed a Chinese spy balloon

'We cannot ignore this security threat,' Abbott said

‘We cannot ignore this security threat,’ Abbott said

His China-focused move comes after House Republicans established a select committee on ‘Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.’

Numerous congressional Republicans, and former President Donald Trump, have criticized President Biden for failing to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon sooner, rather than waiting for it to cross the continental U.S. first. The jet downed the balloon over the Atlantic this past weekend.

The app has tens of millions of users in the U.S., and more than a billion worldwide. 

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