UiB follows the recommendations of the Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) with regard to the use of TikTok and Telegram, and advises against installing these applications on work devices. “Work devices” here means mobile phones, tablets or computers paid for by the employer.
UiB has no basis for making any other assessments than NSM in this matter, and we share their concerns, says IT director at UiB, Tore Burheim.
The National Security Authority (NSM) says in its assessment that the risk is high when TikTok or Telegram is installed on work devices. NSM considers that TikTok or Telegram should not be installed on public employees’ work devices that are connected to the organization’s internal digital infrastructure or services.
Based on this assessment by the NSM, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security this week (21 March) advised against politicians and employees in the ministries and underlying businesses having TikTok and Telegram on work devices.
In its open threat assessment “Focus 2023”, the intelligence service points to Russia and China as the main threat actors against Norwegian security interests. They also point out that social media is a favoured arena for threat actors and others who want to influence us through disinformation and fake news, says Minister of Justice and Public Security, Emilie Enger Mehl in a press release (https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/nsm-med-nye-retningslinjer-for-tiktok-og-telegram/id2967383/, in Norwegian only).
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security also asks the ministries to follow up on the recommendations towards their respective subordinate enterprises.
In line with the advice from NSM, UiB advises against installing the apps in question. The apps are recommended to be removed from work devices, mobile phones and other devices that have access to internal digital infrastructure or the processing of information that is exempt from the public.
If there is a business need for TikTok or Telegram, it is recommended that the application be installed and used on a separate device reserved for this type of purpose, and which is not connected to the university’s internal systems.
This concerns TikTok and Telegram specifically, but in general we would encourage all our students and employees to be aware of their privacy settings in all use of social media, and to take a careful line with what they allow these apps to access, says Burheim.