Chris Sununu, the governor of New Hampshire, argued on Thursday that the country should not outright outlaw TikTok because doing so does not seem like a “realistic” way to address security issues.
TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance and is used by over 100 million Americans, has drawn criticism from Congress and the Biden administration due to worries that the Chinese government would use the programme to promote false information or obtain access to private user data.
According to TikTok, the Biden administration told it that if ByteDance does not sell its stock in the company, it may be banned from operating in the United States.
Although he supports the regulations that prevent the software from being used on government devices, Sununu said he disagreed with that action.
According to Sununu, Americans ought to be free to choose whether or not to download TikTok.
According to Sununu, there are 100 million TikTok users in the nation. “Our responsibility is to spread the word that using TikTok effectively means handing over your personal information to the Chinese authorities. Thus, we must be extremely transparent about the information that is being moved and made available.”
According to TikTok, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is conducting a security review of the application, sent a letter with the warning from the Biden administration.
Separately, the president would have the power to impose a ban on TikTok under proposed legislation in Congress. A ban effort by the former president Donald Trump was rejected by the courts.
The usage of the app on government-owned hardware has been outlawed by President Joseph Biden. With rare exclusions, government organisations have until the end of March to withdraw the application.
On Thursday, the White House denied to authenticate the letter TikTok claimed to have received.
Biden has national security concerns about TikTok, as shown by the prohibition on government devices, according to National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, who told reporters.
Kirby said of a countrywide ban, “I’m not going to get ahead of the CFIUS study. Since we have real concerns about national security and data integrity that we need to uphold, the president has previously made it clear that he has issues about the usage of that specific app, TikTok, on government computers.
The prohibition of TikTok on government-owned devices “doesn’t seem practical,” according to Sununu, who in mid-December in New Hampshire signed an executive order prohibiting its use. He declared on Thursday that a restriction on government devices is necessary due to the threat of viruses and the potential loss of sensitive data.
He stated the following when defending his position against a ban on TikTok on Americans’ mobile devices: “On a personal level, I don’t strongly like the idea of the government outlawing many things. That’s not the way I operate.”
Governmental bans, he claimed, are occasionally essential. Nevertheless, “it doesn’t seem reasonable to me if we’re going to say the government is suddenly going to tell 100 million people they have to delete TikTok off their smartphones.”