September 26, 2023

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has banned TikTok

According to two NATO officials with knowledge of the situation, NATO has formally banned staffers from downloading the social media app TikTok onto NATO-provided devices due to security concerns.

The ban was announced via an internal note sent out by NATO on Friday morning, the sources said. The note formalized the prohibition, but TikTok was already blocked on NATO-issued devices due to internal technological restrictions, so the message wasn’t exactly news.

“NATO places a high value on ensuring a secure cyberspace. NATO has stringent criteria for deciding which apps are suitable for official business use. According to CNN, a top NATO official said, “TikTok is inaccessible on NATO devices.”

Concerned that the Chinese government may have access to user data through its Chinese parent firm, Bytedance, NATO has joined the growing list of governments that have banned the app. Government-issued devices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, and the European Parliament have all been banned from using the program.

CEO Shou Chew told US lawmakers earlier this month that TikTok is unaffiliated with Beijing, adding that he has “seen no evidence that the Chinese government has access to that data; they have never asked us, and we have not provided it.”

As he continued, he revealed that Oracle, an American business, would be transferring TikTok’s data to the United States.

Therefore, “the risk would be the same as any government going to an American company, asking for data,” he explained.

In spite of this, western countries are still wary.

On the same day that Chew testified before Congress, Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified separately and urged lawmakers that TikTok should be “ended one way or another.” There is no doubt that “we, the administration, and others” are “seized with the challenge that it poses” and are working to find solutions.

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