The state of Maryland has issued an emergency cybersecurity directive to prohibit the use of certain Chinese and Russian-influenced products and platforms for the executive branch of state government ― including TikTok ― stating that these entities present an unacceptable level of cybersecurity risk to the state, and may be involved in cyberespionage, surveillance of government entities and inappropriate collection of sensitive personal information.
Under this directive, agencies must remove any of these products from state networks, implement measures to prevent installation of these products and implement network-based restrictions to prevent the use of, or access to, prohibited services.
“There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “As the cyber capital of America, Maryland has taken bold and decisive actions to prepare for and address cybersecurity threats. To further protect our systems, we are issuing this emergency directive against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us.”
The directive issued by the state Chief Information Security Officer Chip Stewart applies to TikTok; Huawei Technologies; ZTE Corp and Tencent Holdings, including but not limited to Tencent QQ, QQ Wallet and WeChat; and Alibaba products, including but not limited to AliPay and Kaspersky.