TikTok might be a helpful software for China if it invades Taiwan, FBI director says

New York

The Chinese authorities might use TikTok to regulate knowledge on tens of millions of individuals and harness the short-form video app to form public opinion ought to China invade Taiwan, FBI Director Christopher Wray instructed the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday.

Wray responded affirmatively to questions from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the panel’s rating member, on whether or not TikTok would permit Beijing widespread management over knowledge and a helpful affect software within the occasion of battle within the Taiwan Strait.

“The most fundamental piece that cuts across every one of those risks and threats that you mentioned that I think Americans need to understand is that something that’s very sacred in our country —the difference between the private sector and public sector — that’s a line that is nonexistent in the way that the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] operates,” Wray instructed Rubio within the listening to.

Rubio, the highest Republican on the Senate panel, argued that TikTok presents “a substantial national security threat for the country of a kind that we didn’t face in the past.”

Wray’s feedback come a day after Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of the US National Security Agency, instructed the Senate Armed Services Committee that he frightened TikTok might censor movies to form public opinion in a approach that threatens US nationwide safety pursuits.

It’s the newest in a full-court press from US officers to sound the alarm about TikTok’s alleged safety dangers as Congress weighs giving the Biden administration extra authority to handle the alleged risk posed by the platform, as much as and together with banning the app within the United States

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TikTok CEO Shou Chew stated this week that the Chinese authorities has “never asked us for US user data” and the corporate wouldn’t present it if the federal government did ask. Chew additionally stated that “misinformation and propaganda has no place on our platform, and our users do not expect that.”

The firm has taken voluntary steps to wall off US person knowledge from the remainder of its international group, together with by internet hosting that knowledge on servers operated by the US tech big Oracle. The firm can also be negotiating a potential settlement with the Biden administration that would permit TikTok to proceed working within the United States beneath sure circumstances.

In an announcement this week, a TikTok spokesperson stated a US authorities ban would stifle American speech and could be “a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide.”

– CNN’s Brian Fung and Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.