Arizona state lawmaker proposes banning TikTok on government phones

The bill is something Rep. Gress believes would prevent Arizona public service and state officials from being exposed to compromised cybersecurity.
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 1:14 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona Rep. Matt Gress (R) announced he will propose a bill amendment that would ban TikTok on state business phones and public service-related devices on Wednesday.

The “No TikTok on Arizona Government Devices Act” is something Rep. Gress believes would prevent Arizona public service and state officials from being exposed to compromised cybersecurity. If passed, in no less than 30 days, the Arizona Department of Administration would remove the app from all information technology devices used by state business and public service officials and would update the list of all applications that present a cybersecurity concern.

“When I was sworn into office, I took an oath to defend my constituents and all Arizonans from enemies both foreign and domestic,” Gress said.

You can read the full proposal below:

State Representative Tim Dunn, chairman of the government committee, has also shared his support of the bill. “As public servants, we have a responsibility to do the right thing and keep our constituents safe,” he said in a press release. “I’m proud to support this comprehensive, common-sense legislation being introduced by Representative Gress. Together, we will ensure the private information of all Arizonans is secure.”

The move comes amid increasing tensions between the United States and China. Last week the U.S. downed a Chinese surveillance off the East Coast and other unidentified objects.

In previous government hearings, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that TikTok presented several national security concerns, centered primarily around the Chinese government’s ability to conduct U.S. data mining--something that has the potential to be weaponized through influence or “to control software on millions of devices.”

If passed, Gress said his bill will also direct state agencies and departments to keep an updated list of applications that could pose a security risk. The proposal is expected to get a hearing in a House committee this week.

Almost half of all U.S. states have passed similar policies regarding TikTok on state devices. The Biden administration has yet to finalize any national TikTok ban.