AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — City of Aurora council members voted Monday night to ban TikTok on city-issued devices and personal devices with access to the city’s network.
Council members voted 9-1 to pass the resolution.
“If you have TikTok on your personal device, there is still a vulnerability according to our IT team so we want to avoid TikTok on those devices,” Dustin Zvonek, an Aurora City Councilman at large said.
Zvonek, the council member sponsoring the resolution, said this was first discussed during a study session meeting last week. He said there was no pushback or objections and will be discussed during Monday’s city council meeting.
“There are thousands of city-issued devices and we can control what is downloaded on there and we want to protect the information on there so this is one step in that direction,” Zvonek said.
Zvonek said he asked for a waiver of reconsideration which means the resolution wouldn’t have to go through a second reading. He said he is confident it will pass and could be implemented as early as Tuesday.
“I think it makes sense to protect our IT infrastructure and the privacy of our residents,” Zvonek said.
He said the easy part will be banning the app on city-issued devices, but the challenge will be on personal devices. If passed, a policy will be put into place that holds employees accountable.
“The city management will come up with a policy, if someone violates city policy what those consequences will look like will be up to city management,” Zvonek said.
He said only personal devices that have apps or programs downloaded that allow access to the city’s network would ban the TikTok app.
“TikTok was described to me as having millions of Chinese spy balloons under our roofs across the country,” Zvonek said.
Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, was expected to talk with Congress about how the app was founded by Chinese entrepreneurs, is committed to user safety, data protection and security, and keeping the platform free from Chinese government influence.
The City and County of Denver blocked the app on all city-issued phones back on Feb. 9.
“I don’t know what Governor Polis’ plan is, but I would hope he would follow suit with the two biggest cities in the metro area,” Zvonek said.
FOX31 and Channel 2 reached out to the Colorado Springs city council — the second largest city in Colorado. The council stated that they are not planning to ban TikTok on work or personal cell phones.
Two Colorado congressmen, Rep. Ken Buck and Sen. Michael Bennet, are leading the push to ban the app. Their concern is that the Chinese government could use the app to spy on Americans and maybe even use it for espionage.
“Tiktok is wholly owned by ByteDance. ByteDance is completely subject to the Chinese Communist Party’s rules on data. And they can suck that privacy whenever they want,” Bennet said.
Bennet also said he confirmed that with the head of TikTok U.S.