According to the FBI, the Chinese government could use TikTok in order to access the data of millions American users.
Christopher Wray, FBI director, said Wednesday that the Chinese-owned video app “screams of security concerns” when he addressed a US Senate hearing.
A Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on global threats to US security was informed by him that China could use social media to control millions of US devices and create narratives to divide Americans about Taiwan or other topics.
Wray expressed concern that China might spread misinformation to users. He said, “Yes, but I would make that point in particular on that last one. We’re not sure we’d see many of its outward signs if it were happening.”
He said, “This tool is ultimately under the control of China’s government – and to me it screams national security concern.”
This comes after President Biden supported Tuesday’s legislation by 12 senators that gave the White House new power to ban TikTok, and other foreign-based technology, if they pose a national security threat.
This endorsement has helped a number politicians push for banning the app, which is owned and operated by ByteDance in China and is used by over 100 million Americans.
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At the hearing, several other high-ranking intelligence officials from the US, including Avril Haines (director of National Intelligence), William Burns (CIA director) and Paul Nakasone (director of National Security Agency), agreed that TikTok posed a threat for US national security.
During Senate testimony on Tuesday, Mr Nakasone raised concerns about TikTok data collection and the potential for broad influence operations.