Iowa Governor Issues TikTok Ban on State Devices
In 2020, there were rumblings that Congress could ban the incredibly popular app TikTok in the United States. Then-President Donald Trump fueled the fire by saying he'd consider banning the app, which was created in China.
The ebbs and flows of the political machine cast it aside for a while until recently. Congress has introduced a bipartisan bill to ban the social media platform yet again. And Iowa's Governor is taking a step in showing her support.
On December 13th, 2022, Governor Kim Reynolds issues a directive that will ban TikTok on all state-owned devices. This does not apply to Iowan's personal cellular nor tablet devices.
The directive prohibits state agencies from subscribing to or owning a TikTok account. As one tweet from Linh Ta puts it succinctly, don't count on the Iowa DNR sharing a cute squirrel video at any point in the near future.
Governor Reynolds outlined her reasoning in a press release:
It is clear that TikTok represents a national security risk to our country and I refuse to subject the citizens of Iowa to that risk.
Beyond Congress, Governor Reynolds isn't alone. Her move is in-line with other governors across the United States that have prohibited the use of TikTok on state-owned devices. Another part of this ordeal is the concern over security and information storage on the Chinese-owned platform.
Governor Reynolds also outlined cybersecurity concerns in the aforementioned press release:
[Iowans] trust us with their personal and confidential information and we will take every step possible to protect it, including from the Chinese government. The safety of Iowans is my number one priority and that includes their cybersecurity.
The congressional bill was introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, who is also the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The proposed legislation will "block and prohibit all transactions" in the United States by social media companies that exceed one million monthly users that are based in (or under the "substantial influence") of countries considered foreign adversaries.
Such adversaries are China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela.
Read Governor Reynolds' full statement on Iowa.gov.