Gianforte bans TicTok on all state devices, state servers and on state time
(Missoula Current) Gov. Greg Gianforte on Friday became the latest Republican executive to ban the use of TikTok in Montana, at least on state equipment and for companies doing business with the state.
In a statement, Gianforte cited allegations that TikTok was harvesting data from user devices and passing the information on to Chinese leaders.
“Government’s chief responsibility is keeping its citizens safe and secure,” Gianforte wrote in a memo to agency directors. “Use of TikTok on state devices poses a significant risk to the security of our state and Montanans’ sensitive data.”
TikTok was the most downloaded app in the U.S. last year and remains so in 2022. But despite its fame, some lawmakers have criticized the company's ties to China and fear the Chinese leaders could use data gleaned from the company to spy on Americans.
A bill that would bar federal government employees from using TikTok on government devices is also making its way through Congress. Gianforte joined Republica governors in other states in taking action in Montana.
The governor's order prohibits any “executive agency, board, commission, or other executive branch entity, official, or employee of the State of Montana” from downloading or accessing TikTok on government-issued devices or while connected to the state network.
“This TikTok ban extends to all state-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices capable of internet connectivity, and I direct you to take all necessary steps to block TikTok from being accessed,” the governor said in his memo.
The order also prohibits any third-party firms conducting business for or on behalf of the State of Montana from using TikTok.