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Mississippi Senate approves legislation that would ban TikTok from government devices

Photo courtesy of Worawee Meepian.

Legislation that would ban the use of TikTok on any state-issued device or network has been passed unanimously in the Mississippi Senate.

Senate Bill 2140, or the “National Security on State Devices and Networks Act”, received 51 votes from legislators in the Senate on Thursday after adopting a Floor amendment.

If passed, the bill would prohibit state employees from downloading or using the TikTok application on a state-issued device or state-operated network. State agencies and public officers are also not allowed to operate an account or publish content on the app.

TikTok is a social media platform owned by Chinese company ByteDance Limited, a company which allegedly employs Chinese Communist Party members and has a subsidiary partially owned by the Chinese Communist Party.

The app has been a highly-discussed subject between U.S. officials in recent months, as several have raised concerns about the social media entity’s extensive tracking of user data and transferring it to the Chinese government.

In late December, President Joe Biden signed a limited ban on the app, prohibiting four million federal government employees from using the social media platform. The bill stated that TikTok could only be used for security purposes or by law enforcement.

Less than one month later, Governor Tate Reeves issued a directive to Mississippi departments and agencies banning the social media app, stating that the move was made in an attempt to better safeguard sensitive information and protect critical infrastructure from TikTok.

“Mississippi isn’t going to sit around waiting for the Chinese Communist Party to steal our state government data, and that’s why I issued this directive. It will help us better protect our state’s sensitive information and critical infrastructure,” Reeves said.

Now, SB 2140 heads to the House, bringing the legislation one step closer to placing a permanent ban on using TikTok on all state-owned networks and devices.

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