Australian Government Cracks Down on TikTok

Australian Government Cracks Down on TikTok

( – President Joe Biden’s administration banned TikTok on all government devices in February. Multiple states and countries have also instituted bans. Now, another nation has taken steps to prohibit the app.

On April 4, Australia’s Attorney General Mark Dreyfus announced the country is going to prohibit TikTok on all government-issued devices. According to the press release, the decision to institute the ban came on the advice of the security and intelligence industries. There will be exceptions to the rule for some individuals, but the government will grant them on a case-by-case basis.

Australia is the last of the Five Eyes countries to institute a ban. Its allies, Canada, the US, New Zealand, and the UK, already have similar bans in place. The nations share intelligence with one another and are known as one of the world’s most unified alliances.

The bans come on the heels of multiple investigations that show ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, improperly accessed US users’ data. One probe found a team led by Chris Lepitak, ByteDance’s former head of internal auditing, gained access to the IP addresses of journalists and then cross-referenced that data to see when they were in the same vicinity as the company’s employees. The company fired him for spying on the reporters, but the damage was done. In the US, Buzzfeed News found employees in China accessed Americans’ user data multiple times.

TikTok has denied being a security risk. Lee Hunter, TikTok’s general manager in Australia, told The Epoch Times there was no evidence of security issues. He claimed the company was “very disappointed” by the country’s decision to ban the app on government devices.

Experts disagree. Alastair MacGibbon of CX Australia spoke to Radio National about the problem and pointed out TikTok has had multiple security breaches. He went on to say the company has already censored information on the platform that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t want people to see and applauded the government’s decision to ban it.

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