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Austialia Bans Joins US, Other Allies in Banning TikTok On Government-Owned Devices

Australia banned TikTok on Tuesday from all federal government-owned devices over security concerns, becoming the latest U.S.-allied country to take action against the Chinese-owned video app.

The ban underscores growing worries that China could use the Beijing-based company, owned by ByteDance Ltd, to harvest users’ data to advance its political agenda, undermining Western security interests.

It also risks renewing diplomatic tension between Australia and its largest trading partner after things eased somewhat since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took office in May at the head of a Labor government.

TikTok said it was extremely disappointed by Australia’s decision, calling it “driven by politics, not by fact”.

The ban will come into effect “as soon as practicable”, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said in a statement, adding that exemptions would only be granted on a case-by-case basis and with appropriate security measures in place.

With Australia’s ban, all members of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network – which consists of Australia, Canada, the United States, Britain and New Zealand – have banned the app from government devices. France, Belgium and the European Commission have announced similar bans.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, in testimony before the U.S. Congress last month, repeatedly denied the app shares data or has connections with the Chinese Communist Party.

TikTok’s Australia and New Zealand General Manager Lee Hunter said TikTok should not be singled out.

“There is no evidence to suggest that TikTok is in any way a security risk to Australians and should not be treated differently to other social media platforms,” Hunter said in a statement.

The Australian newspaper late on Monday reported Albanese had agreed to the ban after a review by the Home Affairs department.

Dreyfus confirmed the federal government had recently received a “Review into Foreign Interference through Social Media Applications” report and that its recommendations remained under consideration.

From Reuters

The post Austialia Bans Joins US, Other Allies in Banning TikTok On Government-Owned Devices appeared first on Arise News.

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