Norway’s government ministers, state secretaries and their political advisers have all been told to remove the apps TikTok and Telegram from their government-issued telephones and tablets. The order comes after an evaluation by the national security authority NSM (Nasjonal sikkerhetsmyndighet, NSM).
“We’ve chosen to follow up (on NSM’s recommendation) with immediate effect,” Kristine Kallset, a state secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, told news bureau NTB. TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, which gathers large amounts of data about its users. Telegram has Russian owners.
Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl, who was questioned recently about her own TikTok use and ended up removing it from her phone, said she supports NSM’s evaluation that the apps raise security issues. “Therefore we’re sending out a letter to all the ministries in which we advise against having TikTok and Telegram on government devices,” Mehl stated.
NSM said the apps should not be installed on any device that also has access to internal digital infrastructure or services. Mehl further advised that everyone using social media should be careful of what information they share. NSM stressed that it wasn’t issuing any prohibitions regarding TikTok and Telegram. Those needing the apps in connection with their work, however, are advised to install them on separate devices used specifically for social media purposes.