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Australian TikTok Ban

Around the world, TikTok bans are more and more coming into effect. In our nation of Australia, Zoe van der Merwe, details the ban of TikTok recently placed on government devices.


With growing concerns of TikTok’s security, the federal government has made moves to ban the app on all Commonwealth issued devices. The Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, stated that the ban would be implemented “as soon as practicable,” with exemptions only permitted on a case-by-case basis. [1]


Following similar decisions already made by countries apart of the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance, Australia is the last nation to place a ban on the use of the platform in the government sector. [2]


The Home Affairs Minister, Clare O’Neil, stated that the government was waiting on a review, examining the potential of other social media apps, alongside TikTok, to be utilised as a means for foreign interference. Despite this, decisions have already been made by individual departments, regarding their staff using the app. [3]


In our state of NSW, Premier Chris Minns followed the federal government's decisions, also placing a ban of TikTok on government devices. He stated, "the NSW government will be implementing a number of mitigations to ensure that the security risk of this use is managed appropriately.” [4]


TikTok has made their position clear, continually denying that their app poses any security threat. Lee Hunter, Australia’s general manager of TikTok said "we're extremely disappointed with this decision. In our view, this is driven by politics and not by fact.” [5]


The decision to place this ban stems from growing fears that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, participated in selling user data, as well as pushed propaganda and misinformation. [6]

However, even with the ban in place, government staff are still able to use the platform on their own personal devices. [7]




[1] Al-Khouri, Chantelle, et al. “TikTok to be Banned from Australian Government Devices.” ABC News, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-04-04/tiktok-ban-australian-government-devices/102183478.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Loomes, Phoebe. “NSW, NT, Tassie Ban TikTok on Government Phones.” The Canberra Times, 6 Apr. 2023, https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/8149973/nsw-nt-tassie-ban-tiktok-on-government-phones/.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Swain, Sarah, and Vidler, Adam. “TikTok banned on government devices over Chinese security concerns.” 9News, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.9news.com.au/national/tiktok-ban-australia-government/abebba2c-aa24-4be4-a2e7-75fe44aadf63.

[7] Ibid.


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