Hogan bans Md. executive branch from using TikTok and other Chinese, Russian products

Gov. Larry Hogan is prohibiting agencies in Maryland’s executive branch from using TikTok and other “Chinese- and Russian-influenced products and platforms.”

The directive applies to companies such as Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corp, Tencent Holdings, Alibaba and Kaspersky.

Under the directive issued Tuesday from the state’s chief information security officer, agencies must remove any products from state networks; implement measures to prevent their installation, and implement network-based restrictions to prevent access.

“There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” Hogan said in a statement Tuesday.

“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.”

Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that the Chinese have the ability to control the app’s recommendation algorithm, “which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.” He also voiced concerns that it could be used to collect user data for espionage purposes.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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