KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — University of Tennessee is no longer allowing TikTok on the institution’s network because of a new law that was signed by the Governor Thursday.

The new law, Senate Bill 834/House Bill 1145 was signed by Governor Bill Lee on April 13 prohibits high education institutions from providing anyone internet access to any video platform owned by a company headquartered outside of the United States. UT says the law went into effect as soon as it was signed.

According to UT, this means that students, faculty, staff, and members of the public will be blocked from accessing TikTok or other social media platforms, like WeChat, Sina Weibo, Tencent QQ, Tencent Video, Xiao HongShu, Douban, Zhihu, Meituan and Toutiao, that are operated or hosted by a company in China while on the University’s IT network.

The law does not fully ban anyone from accessing the platforms while on campus, however, UT says individuals will have to use their own personal network connection or a third-party network. UT also clarified that campus entities will still be able to have institutional TikTok accounts, but they will have to be accessed through a different network that cannot collect identifying information from the university other than views.

UT says there are some exceptions to the law, but those exceptions aren’t likely to allow for use of the app for entertainment. The exceptions listed by UT allow employees or institutions to download, access, or the otherwise blocked social media platform if it is necessary to perform:

  • Law enforcement activities
  • Investigatory functions to carry out official duties for bona fide law enforcement, investigative, or public safety purposes
  • Audit, compliance, or legal functions of the institution.