FBI director raises national security concerns about TikTok – Drgnews

DECEMBER 2, 2022:
WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Chris Wray is raising national security concerns about TikTok. He warned Friday (Dec. 2, 2022) that control of the popular video sharing app is in the hands of a Chinese government “that doesn’t share our values.” Wray said the FBI was concerned that the Chinese had the ability to control the app’s recommendation algorithm, “which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.” He also asserted that China could use the app to collect data on its users that could be used for traditional espionage operations. A TikTok spokesperson says it is “on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable U.S. national security concerns.”
NOVEMBER 29, 2022:
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has signed (Nov. 29, 2022) an executive order banning the use of the Chinese social media platform TikTok on state devices.
The order prohibits downloading or using the TikTok app or visiting the TikTok website on state-owned or state-leased electronic devices capable of internet connectivity. The ban takes effect immediately and applies to employees and agencies of the State of South Dakota– including persons and entities who contract with the state, commissions and authorities or agents thereof.
Noem says the order is in response to the “growing national security threat posed by TikTok due to its data gathering operations on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.” She says the Chinese Communist Party gathers data off of devices that access the platform and uses it “to manipulate the American people.”
Noem says South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of “nations who hate us.” She says it’s the state’s duty “to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens” and she hopes other states and the United States Congress will follow South Dakota’s lead.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2022:
U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) has introduced (Sept. 6, 2022) the Block the Tok Act, a bill that would prohibit TikTok from accessing U.S. citizens’ user data from within China and block the installation of TikTok on government devices. Earlier this year, reports indicated the Chinese parent company of TikTok was freely accessing sensitive user data such as passwords, keystrokes, browser history, and voice and facial recognition.
“According to TikTok’s own employees, ‘everything is seen in China,’” said Johnson. “It might seem trivial to go after an app known for viral dance videos, but TikTok is a national security concern. TikTok has more than one billion users, and China is using Americans’ information to advance its communist agenda. It’s no secret China’s goal is to replace the U.S. as the world’s superpower – Americans shouldn’t help China advance its agenda. Block the Tok keeps China’s hands off your personal information.”
TikTok has circumvented privacy safeguards since 2020 and has paid nearly $100 million in fines for improper data collection, including that of children under the age of 13. Currently, several government agencies recommend employees do not download TikTok on government devices.
The Block the Tok Act would put safeguards in place to ensure better user privacy, pursue transparency, and protect our national security. The bill would:
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