News 16 March 2023

TikTok to be banned on all UK government phones

16 March 2023
tiktok ban

TikTok is set to be banned on all phones and electronic devices used by government ministers and civil servants due to security concerns. 

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat has asked the National Cyber Security Centre to review this issue as MPs wait for Cabinet Office Minister Oiver Dowden to make a statement to MPs later today. 

The move comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “we will look at what our allies are doing” after many US states, congress and the EU Commission all introduced bans. 

The fear over TikTok comes amid concerns over potential cyber attacks and the worry that the app could be promoting pro-Beijing views as well as collecting user data for their own potentially sinister motives. 

In response, TikTok called the bans “misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions” and added, “Similar decisions elsewhere have been based on misplaced fears and seemingly driven by wider geopolitics, but we remain committed to working with the government to address any concerns.” 

Over in the States, President Joe Biden’s administration recently demanded that TikTok’s Chinese owners (ByteDance) sell their shares in the tech company or else it will be banned nationwide for all users.

The demand has furthered tensions between Beijing and the US with Wang Wenbin from the Chinese foreign ministry saying in response, “The US should stop spreading disinformation about data security, stop suppressing the relevant company, and provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for foreign businesses to invest and operate in the US.”

China also accused the US of “abusing state power” over the demand.

More to follow.