The University Of Oklahoma Bans TikTok From University WiFi, Devices

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The University of Oklahoma (OU) has banned TikTok from being accessible on university devices, citing concerns about the application’s potential vulnerabilities.

“In compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order 2022-33, no University employee or student shall access the TikTok application or website on University-owned or operated devices, including OU wired and wireless networks,” reads an e-mail sent Tuesday by David Horton, chief information officer and senior associate vice president of the University of Oklahoma.

Republican Gov. J. Kevin Stitt banned the website and app from government devices on Dec. 8, stating in a press release that his order was in response to “ongoing national and cybersecurity threats created by TikTok.”

“Maintaining the cybersecurity of state government is necessary to continue to serve and protect Oklahoma citizens and we will not participate in helping the Chinese Communist Party gain access to government information,” Stitt stated. (RELATED: ‘Threat Posed by The CCP’: States Are Taking Action Against Chinese-Influenced TikTok)

Citing the governor’s order, OU blocked access of TikTok from the campus network. The school also advised that university-administered TikTok accounts should be deleted and replaced with alternate forms of social media because of “ongoing national and cybersecurity concerns” with TikTok.

The University System of Georgia, which encompasses 26 universities and colleges, also banned the use of TikTok, as well as WeChat and Telegram, on university-owned devices Tuesday.

Unlike OU, University of Georgia students, faculty and staff can still access TikTok on their personal computers and phones only as long as they don’t also use those devices to access personal information or sensitive information related to university business, Chancellor Sonny Perdue explained in a memo, according to The Associated Press.

Some members of Congress are also moving to try to ban TikTok and any other apps created by its developer ByteDance, Ltd. from U.S. government devices under the new spending bill.

A TikTok spokesman stated that the bans were purely “political” gestures and stated that the app is currently working to secure its platform in the U.S. by developing security and data privacy plans, according to AP.