OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order on Dec. 8 banning TikTok from state government agencies, employees and contractors on government networks or government-issued devices, including state-issued cellphones, computers, or any other device capable of internet connectivity.
According to a press release from the governor’s office, the executive order is in response to ongoing national and cybersecurity threats created by TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance.
“Maintaining the cybersecurity of state government is necessary to continue to serve and protect Oklahoma citizens and we will not participate in helping the Chinese Communist Party gain access to government information,” said Governor Stitt.
FBI Director Chris Wray rose national security concerns about TikTok, warning on Dec. 2 that control of the popular video sharing app is in the hands of a Chinese government “that doesn’t share our values.”
Wray said the FBI was concerned that the Chinese had the ability to control the app’s recommendation algorithm, “which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.” He also asserted that China could use the app to collect data on its users that could be used for traditional espionage operations.
The governors of each state cited cybersecurity concerns as the reasons for the bans.