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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 20, 2022 12:10 PM
From: Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill
To: All Senate members
Subject: Banning TikTok from State-Owned Networks and Devices
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that would prohibit state government agencies from downloading and using TikTok. TikTok presents an unacceptable level of cybersecurity risk to the commonwealth and may be involved in activities such as cyber-espionage, surveillance of government entities, and inappropriate collection of sensitive personal information. 


The people of Pennsylvania’s personal safety and our national security are threatened by cyber vulnerabilities of systems that support our daily lives. It is imperative that Pennsylvania takes bold and decisive actions to prepare for and address cybersecurity threats. To date, the federal government has failed to act to further protect our systems, leaving the states to step up and take action against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us. Nine states have acted affirmatively, including: Maryland, Texas, Alabama, Utah, South Dakota and others, following warnings from FBI Director Chris Wray last month. Director Wray said the Chinese government could use TikTok to control data collection on millions of U.S. users or control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations. 


Additionally, CIA Director Bill Burns recently did an interview with PBS NewsHour where he stated, “it’s genuinely troubling to see what the Chinese government could do to manipulate TikTok.” 


Under this legislation, agencies, departments, commissions and all government entities must remove the application from state networks, implement measures to prevent installation of the application, and implement network-based restrictions to prevent the use of, or access to, prohibited services to assure Pennsylvania’s systems are protected from the cybersecurity threats caused by these rogue foreign governmental entities. 


This measure will ensure that Pennsylvanians and the cyber systems that serve them are protected. 


Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.  

Introduced as SB379