Tuesday, April 04, 2023

TikTok banned on Australian government devices

The Australian government has finally banned the installation and use of TikTok on government devices.

This has been a long-time coming, with a number of other nations having already banned the use of TikTok on government devices.

With TikTok owned by a Chinese company with very close ties to Chinese government, this has long been an area I've been concerned about, and I'm glad they've finally made this decision.

While the vast majority of social networking tools used by Australians are owned overseas, most are domiciled in nations that have long-term alignments with Australian interests, such as the USA. While there's a similar risk that the US government through legislation could access information that Australia's public servants put on these networks, or weight what our government officials see when they use these platforms, this risk is generally considered low due to the alignments.

With TikTok this alignment was far weaker. Chinese hackers are constantly launching cyberattacks against Australian government agencies and companies, seeking commercial and political advantage.

As such, the risk and consequences of an Australian public servant being compromised or hacked, and information from government systems exposed, were significantly greater with TikTok than other services.

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