Georgia, Idaho and New Hampshire have banned TikTok on government devices. These states join Alabama, Florida, North Dakota, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Maryland.
Georgia has also banned WeChat and Telegram (WeChat being a product from Spotify partner TenCent):
Idaho just banned TikTok.
And New Hampshire implemented a more extensive ban on a variety of entities connected to the Government of China (and therefore the Chinese Communist Party apparatus):
Here is the New Hampshire list which includes Tencent as well as other well-known surveillance state partners Huawei, ZTE and Alibaba.:
These governors have a very valid reason for banning these technologies and apps which has everything to do with the laws of China and China’s policy of “civil/military fusion” as expressed in the statutes of China. This is not speculation or political–it is based on a reading of the law.
As I have noted several times starting July 2020 when we published “Why is TikTok being banned? China’s National Intelligence Law.” As we explained then:
There’s an easy answer to why TikTok has been banned in so many places and may well yet get banned in the US: China’s “National Intelligence Law.”
China’s National Intelligence Law was enacted on June 27, 2017 and came into effect in July 2017. The National Intelligence Law is part of a portfolio of statutes (including the Cybersecurity Law) that gives the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party statutory authority that is unique in the world. The statute is an actual legal requirement for all Chinese companies and citizens to cooperate with China’s massive intelligence agencies.
The reason for the concern about TikTok is that the National Intelligence Law has broadly drafted and poorly defined provisions that create gaping exposure for U.S. and other foreigners doing business or studying in China, as well as their Chinese business partners, employees and colleagues.
Two parts of the Intelligence Law are particularly concerning, Article 7 and Article 14. Article 7 mandates that “any organization or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work according to law” and Article 14 empowers State Security officials to demand this cooperation, stating that “state intelligence work organs, when legally carrying forth intelligence work, may demand that concerned organs, organizations, or citizens provide needed support, assistance, and cooperation.”
A number of celebrities have been sued (and may be prosecuted) for perpetuating the eponymous Samuel Bankman-Fried gameshow in Cryptoville and there are a number of reports that TikTok is the goto social media platform for the cartels seeking teen drivers who think they can practice making 90 degree turns at 100 mph with live cargo in a police chase. How long do you think it will take before the plaintiffs bar takes a flyer on suing celebrities over TikTok for promoting all kinds of bad stuff on TikTok? (This is old news to anyone who remembers Google’s $500,000,000 fine for violating the Controlled Substances Act and consequent non prosecution agreement. Hot tip: The DMCA doesn’t help you on wrongful death.)
For its part, TikTok’s chief lobbyist Michael Beckerman released a statement Frankie Five Angels style denying everything. You remember Michael Beckerman, call sign TWINKLETOES, wearing your royalties in this fashion magazine: