(PresidentialHill.com)- On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott became the latest Republican leader to restrict the use of the app TikTok on state-owned devices. Abbott cited security worries over the program’s links to the Chinese Communist government as his justification for the ban.
“The security risks associated with the use of TikTok on devices used to conduct the important business of our state must not be underestimated or ignored,” Abbott said in a statement.
He gave the agencies until February 15 to uninstall the software from any state-owned device and to prohibit some commercial activities from being carried out on personal devices.
The declaration of the ban came on the same day that the military shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon that had been flying above the country for the last week.
Abbott said that it is of the utmost importance that state agencies and personnel be safeguarded from the risks created by using this software.
Along with the Republican governors of Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, and Utah, Abbott has decided to restrict the use of a Chinese spying tool on devices used by the government. After Republicans successfully pushed the legislation through Congress, President Joe Biden signed it in December to make the prohibition on TikTok for government devices official.
After the balloon was shot down over the ocean in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the military brought it to Quantico, located in Virginia, so that it might be examined there.
China has warned that it would take action against the United States in response to its shooting down of a balloon that China alleges was merely being used for “meteorological research.”
A measure to prohibit TikTok on devices provided by the government for use by federal workers was proposed by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). The Senate approved the bill with a unanimous vote, included in a package of financing for the government at the end of the previous year, and then signed into law by President Biden.
Since then, Hawley has sponsored a new measure that would outlaw the app nationally. This follows a similar plan Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) proposed last year. This would be the first of its kind to be submitted to this Congress.