US’s New Jersey may limit TikTok to separate devices, emails show | Social Media

The US state of New Jersey is considering restricting government agencies’ use of TikTok to designated devices not used for other government business, emails obtained by Al Jazeera said. is shown.

The move would avoid an outright ban on Chinese-owned apps for state agencies, but nonetheless is a rare example of a heavily Democratic country joining the effort. Republican-led force to restrict the popular video-sharing platform.

Last week, Al Jazeera revealed that loyal to freedom Washington state is considering ban TikTok’s use among government agencies, which would make the state the first stronghold of Democrats to ban the app over national security and data privacy concerns.

In an email to colleagues obtained by Al Jazeera, New Jersey’s top cybersecurity official said the state is considering a complete ban on TikTok on government devices, but will most likely limit it. restrict the use of this application to “separate and isolated devices”.

“We are continuing to discuss a complete ban on TikTok from state-owned devices and personal devices authorized for use by state-owned enterprises,” said Michael Geraghty, New’s chief information security officer. Jersey, said on December 7 in an email to colleagues at the New Jersey Domestic Office. Security and Availability.

“Instead of banning it outright, we might issue guidance requiring agencies to use separate and isolated devices to use TikTok. We also do the same for other types of access to websites and apps that pose a security risk, such as the dark web.”

But Geraghty said agencies using TikTok are implicitly supporting suspicious activities by the Chinese government, including influence activities on US soil.

“The decision to ban or limit the use of a particular app or website is ultimately up to the decision-making body and may depend on many factors, including the potential risks and benefits of use of the app or website, policies and Geraghty said in the email.

“Authorities that use TikTok must realize that they are tacitly supporting the Chinese government’s collection of personal information about them and their audiences, and China’s influence activities in the United States.”

[New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness]

Al Jazeera received the email after submitting requests for public records to agencies in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, including the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness did not respond to a request for comment.

To date, at least 19 US states have banned or restricted the use of TikTok on government devices, all of which, except Louisiana, have Republican governors.

Louisiana, a conservative state with a Democratic governor, has banned the app only on devices controlled by the state’s Republican secretary of state.

New Jersey, an East Coast state bordering New York, is one of 14 states where Democrats currently control the governorship and both branches of the state legislature.

Earlier this month, three Republican New Jersey state legislators announced plans to introduce legislation banning TikTok on government devices.

While Republicans are leading the effort to ban TikTok at the state level, moves to restrict the app at the national level have drawn strong support among parties.

Last week, the Democratic-controlled House and Senate passed a $1.7 trillion spending bill that would ban TikTok from most federal government devices.

A separate bipartisan bill to completely ban TikTok in the United States is waiting for Congress to pass, although many say the bill is unlikely to become law.

TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has faced increasing scrutiny in the US since former President Donald Trump ordered the social media platform to divest its assets in The US amid concerns that the Chinese government could access sensitive personal data of its users.

TikTok has denied sharing personal data with the Chinese government and insists it will refuse any request to do so.

It also sought to address data protection concerns by agreeing to move all US users’ data to servers operated by Texas-based Oracle.

In an additional controversial source for TikTok, ByteDance admitted last week that some of its employees improperly accessed user data to track down two journalists as part of an internal investigation into leaks to the media.

A company spokesperson said the actions of the employees were “unacceptable” and that the people involved were no longer employed at the company.


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