Maryland has become the second state to ban TikTok over cybersecurity concerns, also banning other Chinese and Russian apps and services.
Concerns have been growing over the security and privacy risk TikTok poses. South Dakota banned the app from state-owned devices and Maryland has now followed suit. Governor Larry Hogan issued an emergency cybersecurity directive banning TikTok from state agencies. The directive also bans other Chinese and Russian apps.
“There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” said Governor Hogan. “As the cyber capital of America, Maryland has taken bold and decisive actions to prepare for and address cybersecurity threats. To further protect our systems, we are issuing this emergency directive against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us.”
The ban covers the following entities:
TikTok; Huawei Technologies; ZTE Corp; Tencent Holdings, including but not limited to: Tencent QQ, QQ Wallet, and WeChat; Alibaba products, including but not limited to: AliPay; and Kaspersky.
State agencies must remove all such services and take measures to prevent their installation and use.
“This action represents a critical step in protecting Maryland State systems from the cybersecurity threats caused by foreign organizations,” said State CISO Chip Stewart.