New Zealand bans TikTok use for hundreds of government employees

by ian

Ian Patrick, FISM News

On Friday, New Zealand became the latest government to take action against TikTok over security concerns.

By the end of the month, around 500 employees in the parliamentary complex of the New Zealand government will not be allowed to download the app to their phones.

Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said the move to ban the app was advised by government cybersecurity experts in the Government Communications Security Bureau, as reported by the Associated Press.

Gonzalez-Montero added that special arrangements could be made if there were any employees affected by the ban who needed the app in order to keep doing their jobs.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told a media briefing that the ban won’t apply to the whole of the government.

“Departments and agencies follow the advice of the (Government Communications Security Bureau) in terms of IT and cybersecurity policies … we don’t have a blanket across the public sector approach,” Hipkins said as reported by Reuters.

Other agencies in the New Zealand government could enact their own bans if they wished. This is a different approach than that of the United Kingdom, which recently issued a government-wide ban of the app.

TikTok’s Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance, did not immediately comment on the news.

TikTok has claimed that all bans of the app over security concerns are based on “fundamental misconceptions” over its relationship with the Chinese government.

On Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin responded to the recent bans of the app saying the UK and New Zealand should “stop over-extending and abusing the concept of national security, and provide a fair and non-discriminatory environment to companies from all countries.”