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Christopher Wray: FBI Has National Security Concerns Over TikTok

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FBI Director Christopher Wray said the Chinese government could potentially exploit social media platform TikTok to gain control over the collection of users’ information, The Record reported Tuesday.

“We do have national security concerns from the FBI’s end about TikTok,” Wray said in response to a question by Rep. Diana Harshbarger, R-Tenn., during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on global threats Tuesday.

They 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 choose, or to control software on millions of devices which gives the opportunity to potentially technically compromise personal devices,” he added.

The Department of the Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. is conducting a review of TikTok over national security issues as the video app negotiates to continue its operations in the U.S. Wray said the bureau’s foreign investment unit is collaborating with CFIUS on the review.

Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and a previous Wash100 awardee, and National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid joined Wray during the hearing. Mayorkas fielded questions from lawmakers over cybersecurity.