Australia bans TikTok on government devices

Australia Tiktok ban

Australia is to ban TikTok on government devices, joining a growing list of Western nations cracking down on the Chinese-owned app due to national security fears.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the decision followed advice from the country’s intelligence agencies.

Australia is the final member of the secretive Five Eyes security alliance to seek a government TikTok ban. Joining the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand.

Similar moves have been taken by France, the Netherlands, and the European Commission.

Dreyfus stated that the government would accept some exemptions “case by case” with “appropriate security mitigations in place.”

Experts in cyber security have cautioned that the app. Which has over one billion users. Could be used to collect data that is then shared with the Chinese government.

According to Fergus Ryan, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, removing TikTok from government equipment is a “no-brainer.”

“Given this fact, prohibiting the use of the app on government phones is a prudent decision.”

Ryan predicted that Beijing would “perceive it as unfair treatment and discrimination against a Chinese company.”

The security concerns are supported by a 2017 Chinese law requiring local firms. To give over personal data to the government if it is pertinent to national security.

Beijing has disputed that these reforms endanger ordinary users.

In March, foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated that China “has never and will never require companies or individuals to collect or provide data located in a foreign country in a way that violates local law.”

‘Xenophobia is at the root of it.’

TikTok says such restrictions are “rooted in xenophobia.” Even though Chinese government not own this company.

Lee Hunter, the firm’s Australian spokesman, stated that the company “would never” provide data to the Chinese government.

“No one is working harder to ensure that this never happens,” he told Australia’s Channel Seven.

However, the company admitted in November that some employees in China had access to European user data. And in December it admitted that employees had used the data to eavesdrop on journalists.

The app, which use to share short, humorous videos, has had more appeal in recent years.

Many government agencies were initially eager to use TikTok to target a younger demographic. That is difficult to contact through traditional media channels.

TikTok already banned from government devices in New Zealand in March. Citing risks that were “not acceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment.”

Due to security concerns, the Australian government declared earlier this year that it would remove Chinese-made CCTV cameras from politicians’ offices.

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