Are you a fan of TikTok? Well, if you’re an MP in New Zealand, you won’t be able to use it on any devices issued by Parliament anymore!
That’s right, just like in Canada, Australia, Britain, and the US, TikTok has been banned due to cybersecurity concerns. The app is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance, and officials have decided that the risks are not acceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment.
In a statement, the Parliamentary Service chief executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said that arrangements could be made for those who require the app to perform their democratic duties. So, if MPs really need TikTok, they can still use it, but not on Parliamentary-issued devices.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said that he hasn’t been briefed on the guidance yet, but he expects that departments and agencies – including the Parliament – would consider the advice of the GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) in making those decisions.
While New Zealand’s intelligence agencies “do not have the legal mandate to ban apps,” the GCSB does provide security advice, policy, and guidance to government agencies through the New Zealand Information Security Manual (NZISM). However, it has no specific advice on what technology platforms, services, and apps can or cannot be used.