University of Texas at Austin blocks TikTok from its IT network
(CNN) — The University of Texas at Austin blocked TikTok from its IT network on Wednesday under an earlier order by Gov. Greg Abbott banning the short-form video app from state-managed electronic resources.
The move makes it impossible for users of TikTok to access the app, even on personal devices, if they are connecting via the school’s wired or wireless networks, the university wrote in a message posted to its website.
“The university is taking these important steps to eliminate risks to information contained in the university’s network and to our critical infrastructure,” the message said, citing Abbot’s statewide directive, which highlighted fears that TikTok’s US user data could fall into the hands of the Chinese government.
The university had already begun removing TikTok from official cell phones, tablets and other devices as part of complying with the directive, the message continued.
The university is not the first to restrict TikTok from its network. The University of Oklahoma and Auburn University in Alabama have each taken steps to clamp down on TikTok in response to governors’ orders in their respective states. In all, more than half of states have banned TikTok from government devices, according to a recent CNN analysis.
The bans come as a growing number of lawmakers continue to scrutinize TikTok over possible national security concerns due to its ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance.
TikTok has previously said it’s “disappointed” to see “so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies that will do nothing to advance cybersecurity in their states and are based on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok.”
“We’re especially sorry to see the unintended consequences of these rushed policies beginning to impact universities’ ability to share information, recruit students, and build communities around athletic teams, student groups, campus publications, and more,” the company previously said.