FBI director says TikTok 'national security concern' for US

The Nation  |  Dec 04, 2022

FBI Director Chris Wray said Friday that the Chinese social media platform TikTok is a "national security concern" for the US.

Speaking at an event at the University of Michigan, Wray voiced concern that the Beijing administration could use the data collected through TikTok on users for "traditional espionage operations."

"We, the FBI do have national security concerns about the app (TikTok). Its parent company is controlled by the Chinese government. It gives them the potential to leverage the app in ways that I think should concern us," he said.

This means China gets "the ability to control the recommendation algorithm which allows them to manipulate the content, if they want to, to use it for influence operations," he added.

He further said: "All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that's very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us."

China eases some COVID-19 restrictions in major cities

Last month, the FBI warned that data collected on TikTok could be used "maliciously" by the Beijing administration.

TikTok responded by saying it does not store US user data in China, where the law allows the government to force companies to hand over internal information.

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