Directive Announced by Governor on Monday Only Applies to Executive Branch
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-Ocean) introduced legislation yesterday to ban TikTok on all State government devices. The bill was announced by the legislators last month amid rising concerns about cybersecurity risks associated with the social media platform raised by the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Asm. Greg McGuckin and John Catalano introduced legislation to implement a comprehensive ban TikTok on all State government devices. A recent directive from the Murphy administration only applies to the Executive Branch. (©iStock)
“We were the first to raise concerns about the cybersecurity risks associated with the use of TikTok on state government devices in New Jersey,” said Holzapfel. “We’re glad Governor Murphy listened and issued a directive to ban the app on Executive Branch devices. Our legislation goes even further and would prohibit TikTok on devices across every branch of government, including the Legislature and the Judiciary.”
On Monday, the Murphy administration announced a directive that prohibits the use of TikTok on Executive Branch devices.
The legislation (S-3462) introduced by the 10th District legislators would prohibit the download or use of the TikTok application or visits to the TikTok website on all State-issued or State-leased electronic devices across all three branches of government.
“The governor took a good first step in banning TikTok from Executive Branch devices, but more needs to be done,” said McGuckin. “I’m hopeful the Legislature will take the next step and enact the comprehensive ban we proposed that would apply to every branch of State government.”
The new legislation follows growing concerns by state and federal lawmakers, law enforcement, and military officials that TikTok is a Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party that’s designed to collect data on its billion users worldwide and to influence public opinion in ways that serve the Chinese government’s interests.
TikTok is operated by ByteDance, a Chinese Internet technology company. The company recently confirmed that its China-based employees are able to access U.S. user data, despite prior claims to the contrary.
“Security researchers have warned that TikTok could potentially log a user’s keystrokes and take screenshots that are reported back to the company’s servers,” added Catalano. “When State workers have a lot of sensitive information on their devices, we can’t risk that being accessed in Beijing. It’s an unnecessary risk that we need to fully shut down.”
Related Facebook Post: