Speaking during a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Wray said that TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, poses significant national security concerns to the United States.
“I would say that we do have national security concerns, at least from the FBI’s [perspective] about TikTok,” Wray said.
“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 chose, or to control software on millions of devices which gives it opportunity to potentially technically compromise personal devices.”
Wray delivered the comments in response to a line of questioning by Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.), who asked if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, was actively using ByteDance or TikTok to surveil American citizens.
The questions directly referenced reporting in October from Forbes, which uncovered a plot by China-based employees at TikTok to surveil the location and personal information of specific Americans for no known reason.
In addition to the already chilling effect of being surveilled, the report has shed light on TikTok’s problematic relationship with ByteDance, as CCP laws require any data stored within China or by China-owned companies to be handed over to the CCP if deemed an issue of national security. This means that any data TikTok stores in China or sends to ByteDance could be obtained and exploited by the CCP.
Wray declined to comment openly on whether the CCP was directly using either company to undermine U.S. national security or what such operations might look like, but said that he could deliver classified information to the committee to help inform its judgements about the issue.
“As to what is actually happening, actually being done, that’s probably something that would be better addressed in a closed, classified setting,” Wray said.
“It is certainly something that is on our radar.”
The Epoch Times has requested comment from TikTok.
From The Epoch Times