New Hampshire bans TikTok from state-owned devices

Governor’s order underscores the risks to national cybersecurity, citing China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law.
The TikTok app

New Hampshire is the latest state to ban TikTok from government devices and networks, citing national security risks.

In an announcement made Thursday, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed an executive order citing concerns the Chinese government could “access users’ personal information.”

“TikTok can harvest large amounts of data from devices it is installed on including when, where, and how the user conducts internet activity,” the executive order stated.

The order underscores the risks to national cybersecurity, citing China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law. It states, “Any organization or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work in accordance with the law, and maintain the secrecy of all knowledge of state intelligence work”

New Hampshire joins a growing list of states that have banned TikTok and other Chinese-owned tech companies from government-issued devices.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also signed an executive order banning TikTok on Thursday. The move follows similar orders from governors in states, such as, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

In addition to the growing number of states, Sununu’s executive order comes on the heels of bipartisan legislation passed in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday evening to ban TikTok from federally-owned devices. The Department of Defense, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have already had bans in place restricting the app from government-owned devices. In 2020, the Pentagon issued a stern warning to all military personnel that they should delete TikTok from their smartphones.

In addition to TikTok, Sununu has also banned apps owned by the Chinese firms Tencent and Alibaba. He even went as far as banning telecommunications hardware and smartphones made by Chinese companies including Huawei and ZTE.

Sununu stated the ban is vital to the “safety, security, and privacy of the citizens of New Hampshire.”

The Department of Information Technology will have 30 days to develop and implement a plan to remove any of the banned hardware and software from state networks. The plan also includes a Statewide Cybersecurity and Awareness training program.