By the end of this month, New Zealand will join other countries in prohibiting the use of TikTok on all devices with access to its parliament. The decision is a formal restriction on the popular social media platform, which is owned by a technology conglomerate in Beijing.
Statement from Rafael Gonzalez-Montero
An increasing number of Western countries, including the United States, are placing limitations on the use of TikTok on government devices, citing concerns shared by breaking news network about national security. Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, the CEO of New Zealand’s parliamentary service, announced in a statement on Friday that the risks associated with retaining the video-sharing app were “unacceptable.” Consequently, by the end of the month, New Zealand will impose an official ban on TikTok on all devices with access to its legislature, following in the footsteps of other nations that have already done so. TikTok is a well-known social media platform owned by a Beijing-based technology conglomerate.
In a statement released on Friday, Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, the chief executive of New Zealand’s parliamentary service, stated that the decision to ban TikTok on all devices with access to its parliament was made after analysis by their experts and consultations with colleagues both domestically and abroad. He also noted that the decision was based on advice from their cybersecurity experts and that the app would be removed from all devices with access to the parliamentary network.
However, Gonzalez-Montero noted that exceptions could be made for those who require the app for their work in fulfilling their democratic duties. According to an email sent to lawmakers and obtained by CNN, the app will be removed from parliamentary corporate devices on March 31, and members of parliament will not be allowed to re-download it.
Simon O’Connor, a lawmaker in New Zealand and a co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), stated legislators were instructed to remove the app from their devices, and failure to do so may result in their inability to access the parliamentary network.
New Zealand’s move follows similar actions taken by its Western allies, despite the country’s history of a more cautious approach to dealing with Beijing, largely due to China’s importance as a major trading partner. The decision was made despite New Zealand’s track record of being more cautious when it comes to dealing with China, in part because of its significance as a major trading partner.
The United States, the UK, and Canada have all mandated the deletion of TikTok from government devices, citing cybersecurity risks. These countries belong to the “Five Eyes” alliance, which collaborates on intelligence gathering and sharing. Australia and New Zealand are the other members of this group.
TikTok is banned in the European Union’s main
The social media app TikTok, owned by a Beijing-based tech conglomerate, has been banned in all three of the European Union’s main government institutions, as well as in several Western nations, including the United States, UK, and Canada, due to cybersecurity concerns. Despite its popularity, with over 100 million users in the US alone, the app has faced growing scrutiny over its handling of user data and its ties to the Chinese government.
TikTok acknowledged on the same day that New Zealand announced its ban that the Biden administration had threatened to ban its operation in the US unless its Chinese owners. US officials have expressed concerns that the Chinese government may use its national security laws to coerce TikTok or its parent company ByteDance to disclose the personal information of TikTok’s US users, which could then be used for Chinese intelligence activities or influence campaigns.
Accusing the United States of “unreasonably suppressing” TikTok and spreading “false information” about data security, China has responded to concerns raised by US officials about the potential use of the popular app by the Chinese government for intelligence activities or influence campaigns.
FBI Director Christopher Wray recently testified to the US Senate Intelligence Committee that he was concerned about the possibility of the Chinese government using TikTok to influence public opinion in the event of a hypothetical invasion of Taiwan, which is a self-governed island that Beijing claims sovereignty over despite never having ruled it.
Despite facing increased scrutiny from governments around the world, TikTok has consistently denied to breaking news network posing any security risk and has expressed willingness to collaborate with regulators to address any concerns they might have.