Some cities have running primatial campaigns on TikTok that are now up in the air , Source: Depositphotos

Cities in Belgium rush to ban TikTok after National Security advice

Cities in Belgium rush to ban TikTok after National Security advice

Last week, the Chinese app was banned for Belgian federal employees for an initial period of six months

Last week, the Belgian Federal Government decided to ban the Chinese app TikTok from all government devices, many local authorities have opted to follow suit. These include Brussels City, the Brussels Capital Region, Mechelen, Gent and more.

The decision came after advice from Belgium’s National Security Council over security concerns and Chinese espionage.


Local regulations in the city of Brussels seem to follow the government pattern of banning the app on government devices in use by staff, but also extend to those purchased wholly or partially by government funds.

Furthermore, yesterday, the city announced that it would launch a study into the possible dangers of all social networks on these devices. At the same time, according to official sources, the TikTok ban is temporary for now.

For the Brussels Capital Region, the ban was issued last Friday and has an initial length of six months and it has interesting implications. As the VRT reports, the Brussels Capital-Ixelles police department became the first of its kind on the Chinese platform in the summer of 2020. Whether police authorities will have to suspend their account is still under consideration by the department.

Other Belgian cities

The city of Ghent opted to ban the app from devices related to the local government, as well as those partially paid by it, again for an initial period of six months, closely mirroring national regulations. At the same time, it remains unclear whether local authorities will continue using the platform in a more secure way in the future – in recent months, Ghent has been making tourism promos on TikTok.

The city of Diest, on the other hand, emphasised that authorities usually work with sensitive personal information and opening that up to any time of information theft or hacking would be irresponsible.

Local officials explain that the municipality was hit by a cyber-attack at the end of 2022 and is now in the final phase of data recovery. Mayor Christophe De Graef explained that it would be very unfortunate if the municipality would be hit again at this stage of recovery.

Additionally, he pointed out that Diest would not police the ban from device to device, but rather rely on the professionalism and good judgment of their employees.



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