New Zealand bans TikTok on phones of MPs amid rising security concerns

Public TV English
Public TV English
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AUCKLAND: Amid security concerns, the video-sharing social networking service, Tik Tok has been banned on the phones of New Zealand MPs, Auckland-based daily newspaper, New Zealand Herald reported on Friday.

As per the New Zealand Herald, the chief executive of the Parliamentary Service, Rafael Gonzalez-Montero stated that the “risks are not acceptable” given that strict actions are being taken all over the world, concerning social media service.

The executive informed of the new move to the New Zealand MPs after Britain banned the Chinese-owned video app on government phones with immediate effect, overnight recently.

Due to worries that the Chinese government could access user data from TikTok, which is controlled by the Beijing-based corporation ByteDance, endangering Western security interests, the app has received outrage globally, the Auckland-based newspaper reported.

In a statement to New-Zealand based media company, NZME (New Zealand Media and Entertainment), Gonzalez-Montero confirmed the decision saying it was based on “advice from our cyber security experts”.

Arrangements could be made for those who required the app to perform their democratic duties, he added.

However, TikTok could still be accessed through a web browser but it should be uninstalled from personal phones that also have Parliament applications, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The White House on Thursday responded to a media query on Tik Tok and said that the app can threaten America’s safety and national security.

Responding to a media query over the TikTok ban during a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We have expressed concerns over China’s potential use of software platforms that could endanger or threaten America’s safety and national security so that is the President concerned that is why we have called on Congress to take action.”

“We have seen a bipartisan piece of legislation that you know and have been covering, which is the President’s main priority. I am sure when it comes to their safety when it comes to their security and when it comes to our national security, those things are protected and so that has been the President’s focus over the last couple of years,” she added.

This statement from the White House Press Secretary came after the group of Senators introduced the “Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology” (RESTRICT) Act.

The Act would give new powers to the US government to take action against technologies posing risk to the country.

TikTok has become the latest reason flashpoints in a much wider US-China conflict that has extended beyond geopolitics to issues such as trade and technology, reported WSJ. (ANI)

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