TikTok could be a valuable tool for China if it invades Taiwan, FBI director says | CNN Business
The Chinese government could use TikTok to monitor the data of millions of people and leverage the short-form video app to shape public opinion if China invaded Taiwan, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday , to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Wray answered in the affirmative to questions from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the panel’s ranking member, about whether TikTok would allow Beijing widespread control over data and a valuable tool of influence in the event of a war in the Straits. Taiwan.
“The most fundamental piece that runs through all the risks and threats that you mentioned that I think Americans need to understand is that one thing that is very sacred in our country, the difference between the private sector and the public sector, is a line that does not exist in the way that the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] operate,” Wray told Rubio in the audience.
Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate panel, argued that TikTok presents “a substantial national security threat to the country of a kind that we have not faced in the past.”
Wray’s comments come a day after General Paul Nakasone, head of the US National Security Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee he was concerned that TikTok could censor videos to shape public opinion in a way that threatens US national security interests.
It’s the latest in a flurry of US officials sounding the alarm about TikTok’s alleged security risks as Congress weighs giving the Biden administration more authority to address the alleged threat posed by the platform. even banning the application in the United States. states
TikTok CEO Shou Chew said this week that the Chinese government has “never asked us for US user data” and that the company would not provide it if the government asked for it. Chew also said that “misinformation and propaganda have no place on our platform, and our users don’t expect it.”
The company has taken voluntary steps to cut off US user data from the rest of its global organization, including hosting that data on servers operated by US tech giant Oracle. The company is also negotiating a possible deal with the Biden administration that would allow TikTok to continue operating in the United States under certain conditions.
In a statement this week, a TikTok spokesperson said a US government ban would stifle American speech and would be “a ban on the export of American culture and values to over a thousand millions of people using our service around the world.”
– CNN’s Brian Fung and Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.