New Jersey, Ohio Join 20 State Governments in Banning TikTok

Ohio banning TikTok
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Ohio banning TikTok
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New Jersey and Ohio join several other state’s government in banning TikTok on government devices. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) also extended the ban from TikTok to several vendors from China. Those include Huawei, Hikvision, Tencent Holdings, ZTE Corporation–and the Russian company Kaspersky Lab. “Bolstering cybersecurity is critical to protecting the overall safety and welfare of our state,” adds Governor Murphy. “The proactive and preventative measures that we are implementing today will ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and safety of information assets managed by New Jersey State government.”

Under the New Jersey directive, all state employees must remove any referenced software products from state-owned devices. They must also implement network-based restrictions to prohibit access to TikTok and prevent the installation of TikTok and other software deemed high-risk in the executive order.

Ohio governor Mike DeWine (R) issued a similar executive order in his state banning TikTok. “These surreptitious data privacy and cybersecurity practices pose national and local security and cybersecurity threats to users of these applications and platforms and the devices storing the applications and platforms. 

Republican governors of states have led the charge on banning TikTok on government devices. So far, Democratic governors have been slow to respond to the cybersecurity concerns expressed by FBI Director Christopher Wray

Which states have banned TikTok on government devices?

More than 22 states have taken official action to ban TikTok on the devices of government employees. States that have taken action include South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and now Ohio and New Jersey. 

Meanwhile, politicians in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana have signaled some type of ban on TikTok in the future. Indiana has taken that a step further by announcing a series of lawsuits against TikTok on December 7, 2022. The first lawsuit says TikTok used misleading advertising to court children into using the app. The second lawsuit alleges that TikTok misleadingly portrays its policies surrounding data-sharing agreements with the Chinese government.