Australia is the Latest Country to Stop Government Phones From Using TikTok: According to a statement released by the Labor Party of Australia, the government has officially prohibited the use of the wildly popular social media app TikTok on all government-issued devices.
TikTok has been prohibited on government phones in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, making the total number of nations in the so-called Five Eyes information-sharing alliance five.
Early Tuesday morning Australia time, Australia’s Attorney General Mark Dreyfus announced the change in a statement posted on his website.
“After receiving advice from intelligence and security agencies, today I authorized the Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department to issue a mandatory direction under the Protective Security Policy Framework to prohibit the TikTok app on devices issued by Commonwealth departments and agencies,” Dreyfus declared in an official statement.
The Attorney General has stated that any requests for exemptions from the TikTok ban would be considered “on a case-by-case basis,” and that “adequate security mitigations” must be put in place.
Dreyfus promises that the new regulation would be put into effect “as quickly as practical.”
In December 2022, U.S. President Joseph Biden ordered that all government-issued computers, phones, and tablets be blocked from using the app TikTok. A few weeks ago, governments in both the United Kingdom and New Zealand imposed their own prohibitions.
TikTok, an Australian social media platform, said last year that the data of Australians might theoretically be accessible by the Chinese government, but the firm insisted that this had never happened and never would. This was reported by Australia’s ABC News.
“We have never provided Australian user data to the Chinese government, we have never been asked for Australian user data by the Chinese government, and we would not provide it if we were asked,” TikTok revealed to ABC.
The Chinese government has been accused of using the TikTok app to spy on its users, which is something the firm strongly refutes.
Spying concerns may be allayed if ByteDance, which owns TikTok, were to spin out the app as a U.S.-based firm, an option that has been discussed by the United States government. However, the corporation has been reluctant to consider this option, arguing that doing so would not solve the government’s concerns.
Reporters, including those at Forbes, have been the target of allegations that the video-sharing app TikTok spied on them, prompting an investigation by the FBI and calls for the app’s outright prohibition in the United States from various lawmakers.
But, the constitutionality of a ban on TikTok is up in the air, with libertarian Republicans like Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul arguing that it is unjust. It’s also unclear what would happen to the many other Chinese-based apps, such as Temu: Shop Like a Millionaire, the most popular app in the Apple app store.