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New Hampshire becomes latest state to ban TikTok from government devices

an image of a phone with the tiktok logo
Solen Feyissa
Flikr Creative Commons
TikTok has more than 92 million users in the U.S., but officials are raising concerns about cybersecurity risks.

Gov. Chris Sununu is adding New Hampshire to the growing list of states to ban the social media app TikTok from government-issued phones and laptops, citing data and cybersecurity concerns.

In an executive order signed Thursday, Sununu wrote that the app, owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, introduced an “unacceptable level of cybersecurity risk to the state.”

At least seven other states, including Maryland, Iowa and Nebraska, have already banned TikTok, citing similar cybersecurity concerns. This week, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously in favor of a measure that would ban the app from federally-issued devices.

Since launching in 2016, TikTok has garnered 92 million users in the United States alone. In November, Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, warned a congressional committee that the app posed concerns, including that the Chinese government could harvest data collected by the app, or potentially control a user’s phone.

This summer, TikTok tried to calm fears over Chinese government access to its data by pledging to route all of its user traffic through U.S. companies.

In addition to banning TikTok, New Hampshire will also prohibit a number of other Chinese-based technologies from government phones and laptops, including Alibaba products, and WeChat, a popular messaging app.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office confirmed that several accounts on the platform claiming to be Sununu are fake, and that the state has reported fraudulent accounts “countless times.”

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.