South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem made the leap from U.S. congresswoman to governor four-plus years ago to "become the CEO" of her state.
As part of that, Noem has been tasked with making tough decisions with international implications — even when she's the first political leader into the proverbial pool.
On Wednesday, Noem signed off on an executive order which bans TikTok from any state-run computer network, or any phone, laptop, or tablet device that has been issued to state employees.
"It's because of national security," Noem explained to Newsmax Wednesday evening, while appearing on "The Record with Greta Van Susteren."
"We've known for years that China has an agenda, that they're an enemy to the United States of America," said Noem. "They've manipulated their currency, stolen IP [addresses] ... and built up their military."
Noem then relayed that China is "a threat to us, and they're using the TikTok app to collect data on our citizens, and then [possibly] use it against us. ... Our state networks won't be vulnerable to China."
South Dakota represents the first U.S. state to ban TikTok with its employees, but Noem certainly hopes her state won't be the last to do so.
From Noem's perspective, that same sense of urgency should apply to Republicans and Democrats in Congress, who publicly profess a loathing of TikTok, but have yet to hinder the social platform with substantive legislation.
"People don't realize when they download the [TikTok] app for videos, China is taking in that information" for data-collection purposes, said Noem, who's viewed as a potential candidate in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
Through TikTok, China "can get passwords" and access private financial information. "It is all extremely vulnerable to attacks, reasoned Noem, while adding, "we have a lot of people [in Washington D.C.] that talk about [ending TikTok]. But it's about time we start protecting America."
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