First, it was the EC and the US, and little by little other countries such as Denmark or the United Kingdom have followed the same policy: the devices of government officials are prohibited from installing and using the short video app.
The Dutch government announced this Tuesday that the work phones received by government officials will be configured in such a way that only pre-approved applications can be installed, eliminating any “sensitive to espionage” platforms, such as the social network TikTok.
The Secretary of State, Alexandra van Huffelen, announced in a letter to the Dutch Parliament that the use of these platforms on work phones for all officials is immediately discouraged due to the risk of “espionage” and that, in the short term, mobile phones received by public employees will be restricted from downloading applications considered risky.
There are 140,000 civil servants in the Netherlands, although it is not clear how many actually have a separate work phone from their personal mobile.
The Executive of Mark Rutte thus complies with the recommendations of the Dutch General Intelligence Service (AIVD, for its acronym in Dutch), which warned him of the increased risk of espionage of government phones in which applications “managed by countries with an offensive cyber program targeting Dutch interests”, which includes China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
This means that applications of US origin, such as Instagram and Facebook, are not included in the list of risky apps.
With this decision, the Netherlands follows other countries and institutions that have already announced restrictions on TikTok, such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, the United States, or the European Commission itself. The Dutch Parliament was in favor of a ban in this regard.