South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem issues executive order blocking TikTok from state devices

Governor Kristi Noem speaks after winning re-election on Tuesday evening, November 8, 2022, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Sioux Falls.
Governor Kristi Noem speaks after winning re-election on Tuesday evening, November 8, 2022, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Sioux Falls.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order Tuesday blocking the download of TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned social media platform, from state devices used by South Dakota government employees, contractors and agencies.

Recently, the FBI said TikTok could pose national security concerns because of possible data collection or influence on users. Chinese policies passed in 2021 say nothing about limiting government or ruling Communist Party access to personal information.

TikTok Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Pappas, based in Los Angeles, has said that the company protects all data of American users and that Chinese government officials have no access to it.

The South Dakota ban takes effect immediately and blocks the use of the TikTok app or visiting the website on state-owned or state-leased electronic devices, according to the release.

'Extremely concerned': FBI director says TikTok poses national security threat 

The South Dakota Department of Tourism had deleted its account, wrote Ian Fury, the communications director for Noem's office, in a text.

It's unclear what will happen to the TikTok accounts for South Dakota's public universities. South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology all had accounts as of Tuesday afternoon.

Watch: TikToker uses platform to explain news, current events using AAVE to underserved audience 

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U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives over the summer to block the use of TikTok on federal employee devices and block the use of the app at military installations, national security agencies and intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, NSA and FBI.

Former President Donald Trump restricted the popular app through an executive order in 2020, although it was repealed and replaced by President Joe Biden in 2021.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: South Dakota governor issues order blocking TikTok from state devices