TikTok has been banned in the New Zealand Parliament

New Zealand has banned TikTok devices from accessing the country’s parliament network over cybersecurity concerns, becoming the latest country to ban the video-sharing app from government devices.

According to the whistleblower, concerns about the possibility of Chinese government access to users’ locations and contact information through ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of Tik Tok, have peaked globally. The intensity of those concerns was reversed last week after the Biden administration told TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell their shares in the app or face a ban in the United States.

In New Zealand, Tik Tok will be banned from all devices with access to Parliament’s network until the end of March.

Rafael Gonzalez Montero, chief executive of the New Zealand Parliamentary Service, told Reuters in an email that the decision was made after advice from cyber security experts, discussions within government and discussions with other countries. Based on this information, the Parliamentary Chamber has concluded that the said risks are unacceptable in the current New Zealand parliamentary environment. Arrangements can be made for those who need to use this app to do their work.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand said in a press conference: New Zealand is governed differently from other countries. Ministries and organizations follow up on recommendations related to cyber security and information technology policies.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Defense and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced on Friday that the ban on the use of Tik Tok on work devices will be in place for some time. A New Zealand Defense Force spokesperson said in an email to Reuters that the move was a precautionary approach to protect the safety and security of personnel.

Last Thursday, England announced a ban on using the TikTok app on government phones, which was implemented immediately. Government organizations in the United States have until the end of March to remove TikTok from government agencies.

Sky News reported on Friday that TikTok will be removed from the Scottish Parliament’s phones and devices. Members of the Scottish Parliament and staff have been strongly advised to remove TikTok from the devices they use to access Parliament’s IT systems.

According to a Reuters report, TikTok has stated that it believes the recent bans are based on a fundamental misunderstanding and is influenced by geopolitical issues, and that the company has spent more than $1.5 billion on information security and denied allegations of espionage.

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