The Biden administration has ramped up its pressure recently Tik Tok On national security concerns arising from its relations with China, the Department of Justice and the FBI are clearly applying pressure of their own.
Forbes It first reported that the agencies are actively investigating ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company. The investigation reportedly started after some employees Take advantage of the application To spy on journalists residing in the United States – an accident An internal investigation supported it late last year.
now, New York times And other outlets matched Forbes’ reports, confirming that the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division is coordinating with the FBI and the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia to investigate the breach of user privacy.
In an internal investigation, ByteDance found that some employees accessed data on TikTok accounts of US journalists in order to investigate who at the company leaked information to reporters. Of the employees involved in the incident – who were subsequently fired – two were part of the company’s operations in China.
The latest revelations come a week before the TikTok CEO is scheduled to testify before Congress – an appearance that is likely to be met with deep suspicion, even by technical hearing standards. In the days leading up to the hearing, the Biden administration has dramatically hardened its stance on the company, Threaten to block the application in the US if TikTok’s Chinese owners don’t sell the company.
TikTok rejected the new White House’s request for divestment, arguing that selling the company would not address the government’s concerns. TikTok pointed to its proposed solution instead, though convincing the US government that a China-based company operating in the US should be allowed to self-regulate is a hard sell. To ease concerns about the app’s relationship with China, TikTok launched a $1.5 billion initiative known as “Project Texas” that would store American user data locally and subject the company to an audit by US tech giant Oracle.