WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) — In an effort to counter threats to the state’s cybersecurity, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has stepped in by banning the use of TikTok.
As of Wednesday, state agencies and higher education institutions were required to submit their own policy to enforce this state plan. Midwestern State University falls into that category.
The statewide model safety plan was developed by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Information Resources.
Its primary purpose is to prohibit and prevent the downloading or use of prohibited technologies on any state-provided device. This includes all state-issued mobile phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices capable of connecting to the Internet.
Each agency’s IT department must strictly enforce this prohibition. This means that students will not be able to use TikTok while connected to university Wi-Fi or while using university-owned devices. MSU Texas students can’t wait for it to be implemented,
“I think it’s ignorant because I think it almost violates our first amendment, freedom of speech, and the university itself uses social media to post things, so why students suddenly don’t have that right,” MSU Texas said the student Angel Adams-Case.
Governor Abbott’s concern for TikTok specifically mentions that the app is “owned by a Chinese company that employs Chinese Communist Party members. TikTok collects significant amounts of data from a user’s device, including details about a user’s Internet activity.
The Texas Tech University System, which is what MSU Texas is under, shared a statement regarding the ban.
“The Texas Tech University System received the Statewide Model Safety Plan that was shared by the Governor’s office on Monday, February 6, and was developed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Department of Information Resources ( DIR),” Texas Tech University System officials said in a statement. “The TTU system administration and component university leadership teams have been working closely with information technology leaders throughout the system to develop a policy on prohibited technologies that aligns with the guidance provided by DPS and DIR.Each component university of the TTU System has submitted the plan of the respective institute to the State for approval within the foreseen deadline (February 15).