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TikTok, WeChat banned on North Carolina state-owned computers and mobile phones

A hand signal popularized on TikTok led authorities to rescue an underage girl.
(Photo: Kiichiro Sato)
/
AP
State employees in North Carolina will no longer be able to use TikTok and other apps and websites on state-owned computers and mobile phones.

State employees will no longer be able to use TikTok and other apps and websites on state-owned computers and mobile phones.

“It’s important for us to protect state information technology from foreign countries that have actively participated in cyberattacks against the United States,” said Governor Cooper. “Protecting North Carolina from cyber threats is vital to ensuring the safety, security, privacy, and success of our state and its people.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order on Thursday that directs the state chief information officer and the N.C. Department of Information Technology to develop a policy within 14 days that prohibits the use of TikTok, WeChat and potentially other applications because he says they present unacceptable cybersecurity risk.

“I’m deeply concerned about data security and privacy on social media platforms,” said NC Attorney General Josh Stein. “We, not social media companies, should be able to make decisions about what and how much we share, who we share it with, and how it is used. I’m pleased that Gov. Cooper is taking steps to help make the business of our government more secure. I’ll continue my work to keep people and their data safe online, especially when it comes to my investigations into how social media platforms affect our children.”

Cybersecurity professionals have identified TikTok and WeChat as high-risk because of their lack of privacy controls and connections to countries that sponsor or support cyber-attacks against the United States.

“This guidance is a step in the right direction,” said NC House Representative Jon Hardister. “I appreciate the Governor’s office collaborating with us on this initiative. I look forward to our continued efforts to establish long-term plans to enhance our cyber security."

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.