New Zealand Moves To Ban TikTok On Its Parliament Devices

By   Adeola Adegunwa
Writer , Informationsecuritybuzz | Mar 17, 2023 05:25 am PST

In response to international cybersecurity concerns, New Zealand has banned the video-sharing app Tiktok on any before the end of this month, gadgets with access to its parliament until. This makes New Zealand the most recent government to place limitations on Tiktok.

Parliamentary office on Friday informed the country’s Lawmakers of the decision. According to Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, the chief executive of the Parliamentary Service, the decision was made after consultation with foreign governments and experts in cybersecurity about the risks involved.

Based on the presented facts, he wrote in an email that the risks were not acceptable in the current New Zealand parliamentary setting. According to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, New Zealand operates differently from other countries.

The move by New Zealand to prohibit the Beijing-based ByteDance-owned platform comes amid growing concerns about national security. Due to data security concerns, it followed the US government’s decision to restrict the app from federal devices and systems. The US government is now considering an outright ban on the app.

The UK government on Thursday immediately barred the app from being used on official phones due to worries that the Chinese government could access private information stored on these devices. Because of security issues, TikTok is also restricted in the European Union and Canada on devices that the government provides.

On Friday, Mr. Gonzalez-Montero informed lawmakers that they would be prohibited from re-downloading the video-sharing program on their work computers until March 31. But he added that as an exception, those who need to “perform their democratic duties” may be given permission.

He also said that they would only be able to access the parliamentary network if they followed the instructions to deactivate the program. The ban on work gadgets went into place on Friday. In an email, a New Zealand Defence Force official told Reuters that the action was taken as a “precautionary approach to ensure the safety and security” of the employees.

Worries cause worries about using the Beijing-based platform that the Chinese government might access the data gathered from the app’s billion users or manipulate the algorithm to push content that is pro-China.

According to TikTok, the new prohibitions are the result of “basic misconceptions,” and the company denies that the Chinese government shares, accesses, or manipulates its data in any way.

China’s foreign ministry responded to claims made by the US administration on Thursday by saying that Washington still needs to provide proof that TikTok posed a threat to national security.


The officials of New Zealand will prohibit the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from being used on MPs’ devices, making it the fourth Western country to take action in response to security concerns over the platform. According to Parliamentary Service CEO Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, TikTok would be prohibited on all devices that have access to the legislative network. On March 31, the prohibition will go into effect. The dangers were “not acceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment,” according to Gonzalez-Montero. He continued, “Our decision has been founded on professional research and conversations with colleagues across government and globally.

In response to cyber security worries that officials in China could read data, New Zealand has joined Canada, Britain, and the United States in barring the popular software on devices provided by the government. Moreover, TikTok has been removed from the devices of the European Commission’s staff. In India in 2020, TikTok’s global demise began in earnest. After fatal skirmishes on the border between India and China, New Delhi said it was preserving its sovereignty when it blocked this and other Chinese apps.

The same year, TikTok was charged with spying for China by US President Donald Trump. Although TikTok has acknowledged ByteDance personnel in China had access to information about US accounts, it has consistently refuted providing data to the Chinese government. Unless TikTok breaks from ByteDance, Vice President Joseph Biden of the United States has threatened to outright ban the app.

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