TikTok Faces US Ban after discovery of Chinese Officials Spying on US Journalists

The future of social media giants like TikTok in the US is looking bleak right now. It all started after discovering that the parent company ByteDance had been spying on several American journalists.

According to the investigation and the news reports, people believe that the journalists had been in contact with ByteDance staff and gained access to commercially sensitive information.

According to “The Financial Times” reports, “over the summer, four employees of the ByteDance internal audit team looked into sharing internal information with the journalists.

Two members of the staff in the US and two in China gained access to the IP addresses and other personal data of the FT journalist Cristina Criddle to determine if she was in the proximity of any ByteDance employees, the company said,”.

FT further reports that BuzzFeed journalists and several other users connected with the reporters via their TikTok accounts are targeted too in the ByteDance probe.

According to US law, it is a reasonably significant violation of user privacy while also counter to press freedom in the US.

In addition to all that opposition to several public statements that TikTok has made regarding how Chinese staff acquires and accesses US user info.

TikTok, still under investigation by the Committee for Foreign Investment (CFIUS) over its potential linkage to the CCP, has repeatedly pledged that US user info is safe and out of reach from the China-based staff of ByteDance.

In September, TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas testified and assured the Senate Homeland Security Committee that the company possess a ‘series of robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols’ to limit internal data access.

Miss Pappas also asserted that their company is constantly working on additional advanced data protection. According to her, ‘it is their goal to ensure all the non-US based employees, including the Chinese based employees, will only have access to a narrow set of data of TikTok users in the US.

The narrow data set of US TikTok users only consists of public videos and comments available to everyone on the TikTok platform.

This security mechanism ensures global interoperability. Besides all that, Pappas also denied allegations of US user data being accessible by employees based in China.

Pappas has also stressed that TikTok is working with Oracle and the US government to establish new systems and control parameters.

According to her, her company is taking preventive actions to alleviate fears about the Chinese government’s use of the app as a data-gathering tool.

It is a primary issue raised by several Republican senators, including the FBI and the FCC. It is all due to the CCP’s Cybersecurity provisions requiring all Chinese-owned business enterprises to share user data with the Chinese government.

Leave a comment