TikTok block expanded across ‘wider parliamentary network’
TikTok will be blocked on “all parliamentary devices and the wider parliamentary network” as the government tightens cybersecurity.
The new ban means the social media app will be blocked by WiFi servers and all parliament-issued devices.
Last week, the government banned employees from using the app on their work phones over concerns that sensitive data could leak into China.
Cabinet Minister Oliver Dowden issued a statement and said that after verification, all employees should remove the app “immediately” from their government devices.
The video sharing app is under scrutiny due to its security and data privacy.
The Speakers of the Houses of Commons and Lords have said that cybersecurity is a “top priority” and they believe it is “a necessary step to ensure that our parliamentary digital devices are as secure as possible.”
It comes as the head of TikTok faces security issues in the US Congress.
Last week, TikTok said it was “disappointed” with the move, which was “based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by broader geopolitics.”
It added: “We remain committed to working with the government to resolve any issues, but we should be judged by the facts and treated on an equal footing with our competitors.”
“We have embarked on a comprehensive plan to further protect our user data in Europe, which includes storing UK user data in our European data centers and tightening data access controls, including independent third party oversight of our approach.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Devices managed by the Scottish Government are configured in accordance with the best practices of the National Cybersecurity Centre, which helps us manage any risks associated with the use of third-party applications.”
“Our decision to ban the use of TikTok follows an engagement with the UK government over potential tracking and privacy risks associated with certain social media applications.
“Currently TikTok has limited government use and limited employee need to use the app on work devices.
“This ban will be introduced immediately. This does not apply to personal devices used by staff or the general public.”
A spokesman for Parliament said: “Following the government’s decision to ban TikTok on government devices, commissions from both the House of Commons and the Lords have decided that TikTok will be blocked on all parliamentary devices and the wider parliamentary network.
“Cyber security is a top priority for Parliament, however we do not comment on the specific details of our cyber or physical security controls, policies or incidents.”
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