EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Huckabee Sanders will ban TikTok on state devices and government networks during her first act as the first female governor of Arkansas.
Sanders, who was sworn into office Tuesday, started her tenure as the youngest governor in the nation by signing a series of seven executive orders. One of them, titled the ‘Executive Order to Protect State Information and Communications Technology from the Influence of the Government of Foreign Adversaries,’ will ban the Chinese-owned social media app from all state government devices.
‘China is locked in economic, political, and military competition with the United States. It is a foreign adversary that presents serious challenges to our values, our security, and our economy,’ the order stated, noting that the challenge China poses is ‘particularly acute’ with respect to information technologies.
‘The video application known as TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance LTD., a Chinese company with significant ties to the Chinese Communist Party, is of particular concern,’ it said.
‘It is the position of this administration to undertake strong and prudent measures to protect the information and communications systems used by state entities, public primary and secondary schools, cities and counties, and public safety organizations from harm to prevent both unauthorized access and exploitation of the critical data stored within and traveling through those systems,’ it said.
The executive order will prohibit the installation of TikTok on ‘any state network or state-issued information or communications technology device.’ It will also, within 30 days, disconnect the app from all state networks devices and conduct a review of any risk posed to the security of Arkansas due to China.
With the signing of the order, Arkansas joins over 20 other states in issuing some sort of ban on using the app on state-owned and government-issued devices.
A federal ban was also included in the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill signed into law by President Biden last month. The president has until February 2023 to implement the rules that will ban the social media app from devices managed by the federal government.
TikTok has previously said its ‘top priority’ is ‘the safety, privacy and security of our community.’