Maine bans TikTok for state workers

The state of Maine is banning TikTok from devices that connect to the government network, joining states banning the social media app owned by a Chinese company from state phones and other devices.

Maine Information Technology notified executive branch workers on Thursday that the popular app could pose a serious threat to the state’s network infrastructure.

The directive, first reported by WGME-TV, asks for the app to be removed from state-owned devices and personal devices that connect to the network by Feb. 1.

More than 20 states and the federal government have banned TikTok, which owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020.

Both the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission have warned that TikTok user data could be shared by ByteDance Ltd. with China’s authoritarian government.

Fears were stoked by news reports last year that a China-based team improperly accessed data of U.S. TikTok users as part of a covert surveillance program to identify the source of leaks to the press.

The move by the administration of Gov. Janet Mills does not affect personal devices that do not connect to the network. Lawmakers are expected to weigh in, as well.

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