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Thursday, April 18, 2024

More Norwegian officials trash TikTok

The Norwegian Parliament, the city governments of both Oslo and Bergen and Norway’s central bank have joined the state government in trashing both the TikTok and Telegram apps from the phones used in their work. They’re also following national authorities’ advice that the apps raise security concerns.

Norway’s National Security Authority (NSM) issued a new evaluation last week of TikTok, which has Chinese owners, that prompted the Office of the Prime Minister to call for its removal from government-issued phones. The main concern is over how TikTok requests and is believed to store user information that could be shared with Chinese authorities.

That’s been denied by TikTok and Chinese officials, but it prompted Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl, who’d controversially had TikTok on her own phone until recently, to issue a statement that the app popular with young people should not be installed on public sector employees’ phones.

NSM also turned thumbs down on Telegram, which operates from Dubai. It’s been widely used as a messenger service to spread news of the war in Ukraine and was believed to be secure, but not secure enough for NSM. Telegram officials officials objected, telling Norway’s TV2 that they think the Norwegian ban is based on a “misunderstanding that Telegram is a Russian app. That’s wrong. Telegram has no employees, offices or equipment in Russia.”

It’s nonetheless being removed by an increasing number of Norwegian public sector officials’ phones. If use of Telegram is needed in connection with their work, it’s being installed on other single-purpose phones. staff



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