Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced on Jan. 6 that the use of the social media app TikTok on state equipment is prohibited, effective immediately. In a memo to commissioners and executive staff, the governor citied national security and privacy concerns for the immediate prohibition.
“Simply put, TikTok poses a clear risk to any network or user it touches,” Dunleavy wrote. “National security experts continue to highlight TikTok as a national security concern, including the possibility that the Chinese government may use TikTok to control data collection, influence TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, and compromise personal devices. Use of TikTok on state-owned electronic devices or on private devices that are connected to state networks poses a risk that a foreign government may access confidential or private data from State agencies and employees.”
Dunleavy’s order impacts all state executive branch agencies, including all departments, corporations, authorities, divisions, offices, bureaus, or other entities. They may not use TikTok on any state-owned electronic device, download or use the TikTok application or visit any TikTok website on the state network. Additionally, if TikTok is currently downloaded on any State device, it must be immediately removed, and appropriate steps shall be taken to secure the device.
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“Alaskans must remain vigilant to evolving threats both domestically and abroad and work together to defend ourselves against these threats, in order to defend our way of life and right to privacy,” Dunleavy explained.
The move to ban TikTok in Alaska government comes as states across the country join the federal government in prohibiting TikTok from government devices.
“Alaska must remain vigilant to evolving threats both domestically and abroad and work together to defend ourselves against these threats, in order to defend our way of life and right to privacy,” Dunleavy concluded his memo.
The governor’s full memo can be found here.