WASHINGTON D.C. (WLNS) — U.S. Representative Tim Walberg, along with other Michigan Republicans, asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to ban TikTok on Michigan state-issued devices.
Congress members Fred Upton, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar, Jack Bergman, Lisa McClain and Peter Meijer were also a part of the letter.
The letter was sent Thursday, citing federal-level bans at agencies like the U.S. Department of State, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.
The Republicans also mentioned a Forbes article, where TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, would use TikTok to monitor the physical locations of certain American citizens without their knowledge or consent.
The letter also asks that TikTok be prohibited from being used on the personal phones of state employees.
The lawmakers pointed out their concern over the Chinese Communist Party’s influence on America, as well as institutions like the University of Michigan who actively use TikTok accounts.
“Indeed, we hope you will act on our request by deleting the TikTok account associated with you and the office of the Governor, BigGretchWhitmer,” the letter read.
The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget responded to Walberg’s letter.
“The State of Michigan has a robust cybersecurity program to defend against potential attacks and protect Michigander’s valuable information,” Caleb Buhs with the DTMB said.
Buhs went on to say that the team of cybersecurity professionals are consistently checking new online platforms like TikTok to evaluate potential threats.
“The State of Michigan has more than 600 social media accounts on 11 social platforms that reach more than 7 million followers daily,” said Buhs. “Social media is an important tool for communication if used responsibly.”