In a startling development, National Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo Año delivered a stern warning on Saturday, October 28, 2023. He indicated that the Philippines might enforce a complete ban on TikTok if concrete evidence emerges suggesting China’s involvement in espionage and cyberattacks through the platform.
Año voiced his concerns about TikTok, highlighting the fact that it originates from China. He expressed the alarming possibility of the app being used for clandestine data collection, potentially breaching users’ private information.
While the notion of banning TikTok in the Philippines isn’t confirmed yet, Año emphasized the need for a closer examination. He urged relevant government departments and security agencies to delve into the matter.
They quickly put together a team, with Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya at the helm, to dig into possible data breaches. Their main focus is looking into cyberattacks that have hit government websites. The big goal here? They want to put together a thorough report that’ll be the foundation for creating stronger cybersecurity policies to protect our nation.
What’s TikTok’s DangerousThreat to the Philippines?
Año highlighted the urgency of the situation by mentioning that agencies like the Philippine Statistics Authority and PhilHealth have already fallen prey to cyberattacks. Vigilance and preparedness are paramount in safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring national security.
Moreover, in a bid to minimize risks of data leaks, the NSC is considering a ban on TikTok usage among government personnel. This would be especially applicable to those serving in uniformed capacities.
The Philippines’ contemplation of a TikTok ban mirrors actions taken by the United States, India, and Canada. These countries have prohibited government employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices, citing similar apprehensions regarding China’s potential exploitation of the platform for data collection.
The issue at hand underscores the government’s proactive approach to address modern cybersecurity challenges. The ultimate decision on a TikTok ban will rely on the findings and recommendations of the NSC’s task force. This cautious approach is pivotal in fortifying the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure and ensuring the integrity of its national interests.