March 2. 2024. 2:50

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TikTok, apps ‘sensitive to espionage’ to be banned from Dutch civil servants’ devices


TikTok and other apps that are ‘sensitive to espionage’ will be banned from civil servants’ work devices, the Dutch cabinet, which has already heavily discouraged using such apps, has said.

The move comes after EU institutions, member states, as well as the UK made similar moves, while concerns about the platform have also been raised by member states, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Denmark.

“The central government must be able to do its work securely, including via its mobile devices. Recent parliamentary questions and international developments have led us to a careful consideration that goes beyond discouraging one application. We opt for a structural solution that central government officials can trust when working in a digital world,” Alexandra van Huffelen, State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation, has said.

Looking forward, the cabinet also plans to alter work devices so that it would be impossible to install apps deemed sensitive to espionage onto them. Apps considered as crucial for the fulfilment of ‘primary tasks’ for the government are exempt from this ruling.

The decision follows the Dutch secret service’s recommendation from February, in which it heavily discouraged the installation of espionage-sensitive apps on civil servants’ corporate devices, pointing towards the ‘increased security risk’ tied to apps from countries with an ‘aggressive cyber programme’. It named China, Iran, Russia and North Korea as examples.

(Benedikt Stöckl | EURACTIV.com)