GN to ‘restrict’ use of TikTok on its network and devices

Move follows Ottawa, several provinces banning video streaming app on government-issued devices

The Government of Nunavut is restricting use of the social media app TikTok on its network and devices. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Government of Nunavut intends to “restrict” the use of TikTok on its network and government-issued devices.

The move comes a week after the federal government announced a full ban of the video streaming app on devices issued to government employees. Provinces such as Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have followed suit.

“In light of the recent decision by the federal government to ban TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices, the GN has not received the full assessment of the potential security risks associated with this application, but it has decided to restrict TikTok from all GN devices and network,” said Hala Duale, a spokesperson for the Department of Community and Government Services.

“This measure is in line with the GN’s security standards and best practices.”

Duale didn’t explain the difference between restricting and banning the app. Nor did she say how many employees the GN’s decision would affect, or what the timeline of implementing the restriction would be.

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has been the subject of wide criticism for how it handles users’ personal data.

Treasury Board president Mona Fortier announced the federal government ban of TikTok on devices would take effect Feb. 28. That came after several other jurisdictions, including the United States federal government, implemented similar bans of the app.

“The decision to remove and block TikTok from government mobile devices is being taken as a precaution, particularly given concerns about the legal regime that governs the information collected from mobile devices, and is in line with the approach of our international partners,” Fortier said in Feb. 27 news release.

“For the broader public, the decision to use a social media application or platform is a personal choice. However, the Communications Security Establishment’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) guidance strongly recommends that Canadians understand the risks and make an informed choice on their own before deciding what tools to use.”

Cybersecurity has been an issue for the GN in the past.

In 2019, a ransomware attack crippled the entire government network. The recovery from the attack took several months and cost $7.29 million.

Duale said the GN maintains security standards that all software applications must meet in order to be installed or hosted on its system.

“The Government of Nunavut is committed to ensuring the security and integrity of its core network and devices,” she said.

“These standards are constantly being reviewed and updated to reflect the evolving cyber-threat landscape.”

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

    Come on CGS. Show us some common sense. BAN that app from our system before you become the laughing stock for just “restricting it. Hells bells, you can’t even define restricting.

    • Posted by ? on

      not once does this article mention “CGS”

      • Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

        I know it is early in the morning. Try reading the article again.

  2. Posted by art thompson on

    theres more……phones in general. people texting amongst each other all day long. the gossip gravy train. gn phones….staff on facebook all day long. at some point the gn goin have to look at this.

    • Posted by The real news on

      This is the real story of what is happening in our GN buildings, but will undoubtedly remain an untold one.

  3. Posted by enosamm on

    Sure TikTok is terrible, but the only difference between it and Instagram or Facebook or Snap Chat is where the data goes. The same information is being gather the only difference is who is gathering it. The easiest solution and the one that is widely agreed upon within the IT Security world is to treat corporate/government cell phones the same a computer, lock it down and only allow approved work applications on it, manage it centrally. These are work tools and should be treated as such. Most people who carry a company cell phone need a phone number, email, calendar and some type of authenticator. The reason it is not done in most organizations or governments is weak leadership, they cave to the whining and complaining of end users.
    Have a personal device and install anything you want on it and use it how you see fit.

  4. Posted by Delay on

    I laugh to think they haven’t already done this. They took away Facebook maybe a decade ago, and Facebook was actually very useful to track down and message people who had no phones (this was before cellphones were in the smaller communities.)


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