Texas A&M University will block TikTok on its network and devices

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – KBTX has confirmed Texas A&M University will block access to TikTok on its campus network and state-owned devices, as cybersecurity concerns grow over the popular social media app.

“Based on both state and federal orders and concerns, Texas A&M has blocked access to TikTok from state-owned devices. Additionally, as instructed by the Governor, we are in the process of putting in place network-based filtering that will block both wireless and wired access to downloading or accessing the app from our campus network, which means students, faculty, staff, and visitors will not be able to use the app when connected to an A&M network,” the university said in a statement Tuesday evening.

Earlier Tuesday, the University of Texas at Austin announced it was also blocking access to the app.

Gov. Abbott in December cited concerns that TikTok poses a threat to state information given that the app is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd. Last year, FBI Director Chris Wray expressed worry that the Chinese government could use the app’s recommendation algorithm to manipulate content or users. He warned that the Chinese government doesn’t share our nation’s values and said “that should concern us.”

Abbott said banning TikTok from government-issued cellphones, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers would protect sensitive information and critical infrastructure.

“TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users’ devices—including when, where, and how they conduct Internet activity—and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government,” Abbott said.

Governor Abbott’s order can be read here.

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