Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued an emergency directive to prohibit the use of TikTok in addition to other China and Russia-based products and platforms for state government officials.
In a statement, Gov. Hogan said that the platforms present a cybersecurity risk to the state.
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“There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” Governor Hogan said. “As the cyber capital of America, Maryland has taken bold and decisive actions to prepare for and address cybersecurity threats. To further protect our systems, we are issuing this emergency directive against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us,” said Hogan.
The directive was issued by the state’s Chief Information Security Officer.
In addition to TikTok; Huawei Technologies; ZTE Corp; Tencent Holdings it also includes but is not limited to: Tencent QQ, QQ Wallet, and WeChat; Alibaba products, including but not limited to: AliPay; and Kaspersky.
Under this emergency directive, agencies must remove any of these products from state networks, implement measures to prevent the installation of these products, and implement network-based restrictions to prevent the use of, or access to, prohibited services.
“This action represents a critical step in protecting Maryland State systems from the cybersecurity threats caused by foreign organizations,” State CISO Chip Stewart said.
Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated that TikTok is a threat to national security, stating: “The Chinese government has shown a willingness to steal Americans’ data on a scale that dwarfs any other.”
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