“The impetus of doing all this was just going back to national security concerns and (China) having access to state government data and the security threat that that poses to the state of Georgia,” Anavitarte said.
The legislation would direct the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to use the federal list of “foreign adversaries,” which includes China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Russia, to decide on prohibited social media sites.
Anavitarte first announced his intent to file legislation targeting TikTok in December, saying that since its parent company is based in Beijing and Chinese law requires businesses to share data with the country’s government, the social media app is unsecure.
In December, Kemp sent out a memo that prohibits executive branch employees from using TikTok, WeChat and Telegram on laptops, mobile phones and other devices issued, owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the state or used for state business. Executive branch offices include those such as the departments of Defense, Economic Development, Public Health, Revenue and the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. Anavitarte said it is not his intent to ban the use at the state’s colleges.
SB 93 would allow the social media platforms to be used in instances such as law enforcement investigations, cybersecurity research or judicial proceedings.
The bill does not list specific social media apps, but it would apply the ban to those run by any company that is directly or indirectly owned or operated by one of the banned countries, is headquartered in a banned country or is formed in a banned country.