The Governor informed Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Speaker Phelan that the Executive Branch stands ready to assist in codifying and implementing any necessary cybersecurity reforms when the 88th Texas Legislature convenes next year, including passing legislation to make permanent the Governor’s directive to state agencies. Read Governor Abbott’s letters to legislative leadership and state agency leaders.
Governor Greg Abbott today ordered all Texas state agencies to ban the use of TikTok on any government-issued devices. In letters to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, and state agency leaders, the Governor highlighted the State of Texas’ responsibility to preserve the safety and cybersecurity of Texans, in addition to the federal government’s responsibility for foreign policy issues.
Governor Abbott directed state agency leaders to immediately ban its officers and employees from downloading or using TikTok on any government-issued devices, including cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices capable of Internet connectivity, which is to be strictly enforced by an agency’s IT department. The Governor also ordered direct joint action by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Information Resources to develop a model plan for other state agencies that would address vulnerabilities presented by the use of TikTok on personal devices by January 15, 2023. Each state agency will then have until February 15, 2023, to implement its own policy governing the use of TikTok on personal devices.