US official: TikTok poses "legitimate national security concerns"

    WORLD  02 December 2022 - 00:02

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on November 30 warned that the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok poses "legitimate national security concerns" to the United States.

    TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a company based in Beijing. US officials and lawmakers have warned that the Chinese Communist Party could compel the company to turn over American users’ data or expose them to propaganda, Fox News reports.

    TikTok and ByteDance are currently under investigation by the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), which evaluates national security risks associated with foreign-owned companies operating in the US or foreign investments in American companies.

    Yellen, during the New York Times Dealbook Summit in New York on Tuesday, said she believes there are "legitimate national security concerns" with regard to TikTok.

    "That’s something that’s a case in progress," Yellen said.

    With regard to the CFIUS investigation, a TikTok spokesperson last week told FOX Business that they could not comment on the "specifics of our confidential discussions with the US Government, we are confident that we are on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable US national security concerns."

    Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee that he is "extremely concerned" about the threats posed by TikTok. 

    Wray explained that those concerns "include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users or control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations if they so chose, or to control software on millions of devices, which gives the opportunity to potentially technically compromise personal devices."

    Wray went on to note that the FBI's foreign investment unit and the Department of Justice are involved in the CFIUS process and the agency's input "would be taken into account in any agreements that might be made to address the issue."

    While Biden administration officials and lawmakers are issuing stark warnings about TikTok, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began sounding the alarm on the video-sharing app in 2020.

    The Trump administration proposed a ban on TikTok over concerns that the app exposed Americans to having their personal information sent straight to the Chinese government.

    Pompeo, a Fox News contributor, said earlier this month the government "100%" should ban TikTok, calling it "a powerful tool with deeply embedded AI" and warning that it is "an element of the Chinese security apparatus."

    As for China, top intelligence community officials continue to warn that China poses the "biggest long-term threat" to US economic and national security.

    Caliber.Az

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