Governor Gianforte Urges University System To Ban TikTok

Governor cites the app’s “massive security threat" and ties with the Chinese Communist Party

Governor's Office
  • January 03 2023

HELENA, Mont. – After banning TikTok on state devices, for state business, and while connected to the state network, Governor Greg Gianforte today urged the Board of Regents to support efforts by Commissioner of Higher Education Clay Christian to take similar action within the university system.

“The ability of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to spy on Americans using TikTok is well documented. Using or even downloading TikTok poses a massive security threat,” Governor Gianforte wrote in a letter to the Board of Regents. “Given the risk use of TikTok poses to our public universities and our students, I request the Board of Regents support efforts by the Commissioner of Higher Education to prevent the use of TikTok by the Montana University System (MUS) and its campuses and while connected to the MUS network.”

In the letter, the governor cited recent testimony from Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Christopher Wray who warned the app is controlled by “a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States.”

In mid-December, Governor Gianforte issued a memo to the state’s Chief Information Officer and executive agency directors prohibiting the use of TikTok on state equipment and for state business in Montana.

The governor’s letter to the Board of Regents may be found here.