Australia bans the use of TikTok, a social video-sharing platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, on official devices of government employees, and the decision, justified by security reasons, was announced by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfuss on Tuesday.
Dreyfus said in his statement that the decision, which was taken following the intelligence report prepared by the Ministry of the Interior, will become effective “as soon as possible.”
Although lawmakers will still be able to use the video-sharing service on their own phones under the provision, several, including Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, have already announced that they will terminate their user accounts.
The TikTok administration described the Australian government’s decision as politically motivated.
“There is no evidence that TikTok poses a security risk to Australians in any way, so it should not be treated differently from other social platforms.” said Hunter, TikTok’s director for Australia and New Zealand.
With this decision, all countries of the five-member Five Eyes intelligence coalition—plus Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand—removed the splitter from government communication devices. A similar measure was introduced by France, Belgium and the European Commission.
The software raises concerns that Chinese authorities and secret services could collect data on TikTok or influence users through the app.
Relations between Australia and China have soured several times in recent years. Among other things, China resents the plans of the United States, Britain and Australia to provide Australia with the latest nuclear-powered attack submarines.
Beijing has also repeatedly spoken out against the security cooperation known as the “Quad” security dialogue that Australia, India, the United States and Japan form.
An innocent customer has been taken to the hospital because of a prank by the youths
A TikTok challenge has led to the hospitalization of an American woman after two youths pulled a bucket over her head as part of the challenge at a store.
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