Indiana Bans TikTok On State Devices

December 30, 2022

Indiana has become the latest state to announce that it has banned the Chinese-owned video sharing app TikTok on state government devices.

Indiana Office of Technology spokesman Graig Lubsen said Thursday that his office blocked TikTok’s use by the state government as of December 7, and that the tech staff “is constantly testing the state system and making sure that the integrity is intact.”

The ban came on the same day that Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) sued TikTok, claiming it misleads its users, particularly children, about the level of inappropriate content and consumer data security.

Indiana is among nearly two dozen states to have banned the social media app from its government devices.

Congress, meanwhile, included language in the massive, end-of-year omnibus spending bill that banned TikTok from federal government devices. President Biden signed the omnibus into law on Thursday.

The bans followed warnings from FBI Director Chris Wray, who said in November that the Chinese government could use the video sharing app to control data collection on millions of American users, or to control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations.

TikTok has pushed back, saying that it has been working on securing data flows and highlighting its progress on a deal to move American info onto Texas-headquartered Oracle servers.

And in a company statement from TikTok owner ByteDance, which moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020, TikTok said its “top priority” is “the safety, privacy and security of our community.”

Yet U.S. lawmakers continue to press. Rep. Raj Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) has co-sponsored legislation to prohibit TikTok from operating in the U.S. altogether. He called the government device ban in the omnibus bill an appropriate initial step and said there was a “groundswell of support” for wider action.

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