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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M blocks access to TikTok in compliance with Abbott’s TikTok ban

TikTok
Photo by Ishika Samant
TikTok

In response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent order to take action against TikTok, Texas A&M will comply by blocking access to the app on its campus Wi-Fi networks, in addition to all university-owned devices.

According to a press release from Dec. 7, Abbott ordered a ban to end the use of TikTok on state or government issued devices as “the threat of the Chinese Communist Party gaining access to critical U.S. information and infrastructure continues to grow.”

Effective Jan. 18, A&M Division of Information Technology announced via email it will block access to TikTok while connected to a university network. Users at main campus and branch or remote campuses will no longer be able to use the app on any device while connected to A&M wired or Wi-Fi networks.

“The protection and security of our enterprise assets, information and intellectual property is always a top priority,” the email read. “As we receive additional guidance as part of the governor’s directive, we will update our response plan and communicate any resulting changes.”

As of press time, users connected to the network on personal devices were still able to access TikTok.

On Dec. 19, university employees were instructed to not download the TikTok app on university-owned devices. If the app was previously downloaded, they were instructed to remove and stop using the app. Additionally, employees were instructed to stop creating online posts to TikTok on any official university accounts and remove any external links to TikTok from any university websites.

According to a Jan. 17 statement reported by KBTX, A&M has begun blocking access to TikTok and plans to instate further network filtering to block access to the app on campus. The new compliance measures will restrict students, employees and visitors from accessing TikTok on personal devices while connected to university-owned Wi-Fi networks.

“Based on both state and federal orders and concerns, Texas A&M has blocked access to TikTok from state-owned devices,” A&M said, according to KBTX. “Additionally, as instructed by the Governor, we are in the process of putting in place network-based filtering that will block both wireless and wired access to downloading or accessing the app from our campus network, which means students, faculty, staff, and visitors will not be able to use the app when connected to an A&M network.”

In a letter from Abbott addressing state legislative leadership about his cybersecurity fears, Abbott cited the State of Texas’ responsibility to preserve online safety for Texans.

“While TikTok has claimed that it stores U.S. data within the U.S., the company admitted in a letter to Congress that China-based employees can have access to U.S. data,” Abbott wrote. “It has also been reported that ByteDance planned to use TikTok location information to surveil individual American citizens.”

Full story to come.

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About the Contributor
Ana Renfroe
Ana Renfroe, Head News Editor
Ana Renfroe, Class of 2025, is a journalism junior with a minor in professional writing from Bryan, Texas. Ana has served as The Battalion's head news editor from May 2023 to May 2024. Previously, she was the assistant news editor for the spring 2023 semester. Ana has covered breaking news, politics, and more. She typically covered the Texas A&M System and university administration, Texas and Bryan-College Station politics, student government and more. Ana previously hosted and produced episodes of The Batt Signal, The Battalion's news podcast. Additionally, she was a copyeditor and feature writer for Maroon Life magazine, and helped contribute to the Aggieland Yearbook.
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