BOSTON (WWLP) – This week, a bill was filed on Beacon Hill that would ban TikTok from being downloaded on government owned devices.
Representative Michael Soter of Bellingham submitted this proposal on Wednesday. The Bill, An Act Relative to Protecting the Residents of the Commonwealth, closely resembles federal legislation passed by the U.S. Congress.
The legislation passed by Congress in a bipartisan vote bans government employees from using TikTok on their government devices. This is because TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, which has raised concerns that the Chinese government could gain access to U.S. user data.
The proposed legislation only affects social media companies that operate in countries of concern, which is defined as the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.
“If the federal government feels like it’s this important to do, I feel that we as a state government should be implementing the security and protecting our state and county and local constituents across the state in saying, you know, we’re gonna ban TikTok because we’re following what the federal government had basically told us,” said Rep. Soter.
Moreover, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security must also develop a plan to remove software on government owned devices and develop plans to prevent installation. Parts of this bill are similar to the executive orders that have already been put in place by New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia and North Dakota.