Peter Dutton Calls For Australian TikTok Ban

15 March 2024 | 9:28 am | Mary Varvaris

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stated that the federal government has “no plans” to ban TikTok in Australia.

TikTok with 'banned' stamped over it

TikTok with 'banned' stamped over it (Credit: Solen Feyissa)

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Opposition leader Peter Dutton has called on the Albanese government to follow the United States' example and implement a ban on TikTok.

Yesterday (14 March), Dutton appeared on Sky News Australia’s Kenny Report program and discussed the issue after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently said the Australian government wouldn’t ban TikTok based on what other countries were doing.

Speaking to Chris Kenny, Dutton labelled the video-sharing app as “exploitative”. “If photos of young kids are being scraped from their accounts and stored by a third party, whether it’s a country or state actor or whether it’s an organised crime group, then the Prime Minister has to act,” Dutton said.

Stating his belief that TikTok is “not a safe platform”, Dutton claims that a TikTok ban for Australian users is in the “country’s best interests”.

Dutton continued, “The Prime Minister has a responsibility to act… if the United States is offering their government the same advice as our intelligence agencies are offering here… the Prime Minister needs to be very clear about what steps he’s going to take to protect kids online and to make sure they’re not vulnerable and being exposed to theft of that information.”

According to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the Australian federal government hasn’t received intelligence advice similar to the US about TikTok’s potential harms.

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“We have made decisions based upon our own security assessments,” Prime Minister Albanese told reporters in a recent press conference. “We are independent; we don’t follow other countries.

“What we do is make decisions based on our security assessments… our security assessments mean that on phones that have sensitive material such as government phones, we do not have TikTok.”

In an interview with WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda, Albanese stated that the federal government has “no plans” to ban TikTok in Australia.

“We’ll take advice, but we have no plans to do that,” he said. “You’ve always got to have national security concerns front and centre, but you also need to acknowledge that for a whole lot of people, this provides a way of them communicating. And so, we haven’t got advice at this stage to do that.”

On Wednesday (13 March), the US House of Representatives voted on passing a bill to ban American users from accessing TikTok unless it separates from its majority Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance.

MediaWeek reports that the parent company has six months to divest or sell its stake in TikTok. If it doesn’t, it will be illegal for the App Store and Google Play to host the video-sharing platform in the US, effectively banning the app.