Governor Gives Order Amid Intel Operation Rumors

( South Dakota Republican Governor Kirsti Noem issued an executive order last week banning TikTok from all government-issued devices over speculation that the app is used by China to gather personal information on Americans.

Noem’s Executive Order 2022-10 would ban government employees, agencies, and contractors from downloading the app onto their devices or visiting the website.

In a statement announcing the move, Governor Noem criticized the Chinese Communist Party, saying South Dakota “will have no part  in the intelligence gather operations of nations who hate us.”

Citing her duty to “protect the private data” of citizens, Noem urged other states to follow South Dakota’s lead and called on Congress to take “broader action.”

TikTok, which is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, has been under intense scrutiny by Republicans over concerns that the Chinese government can use the app to access Americans’ personal data.

Over 700 million people worldwide use TikTok and at least 100 million in the United States alone.

In early November, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) announced new legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the United States.

Gallagher, who recently described the popular video platform as “digital fentanyl,” warned that ByteDance is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. He said its connection to Beijing means the CCP can track location data and keystroke information while censoring news. “Why would we give our foremost adversary that kind of power?”

In an op-ed at the Washington Post last month, Rubio and Gallagher outlined the reasons for their legislation, arguing that allowing TikTok to be available in the United States could jeopardize national security.

They also called out the Biden administration for “directly courting” TikTok “influencers,” which they argued could indirectly support the success of the app.

Rubio and Gallagher also raised the alarm about the Biden administration “nearing a deal” that would permit TikTok’s continued operation in the US even without a change in ownership.