The US is investigating TikTok owner ByteDance’s surveillance of journalists

A large TikTok logo on display at a game conference.

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New reports indicate that the US Department of Justice is investigating TikTok owner ByteDance over recent times detection that the employees tracked down the journalists in an attempt to find out who had leaked the company’s data to the press.

The Department of Justice and the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia have subpoenaed information from ByteDance regarding efforts by its employees to access US journalists’ location information or other private user data using the TikTok app, Forbes reported yesterday. According to two sources, the FBI is conducting surveillance interviews.”

The investigation was also confirmed today in The New York Times And Wall Street Journal Articles citing anonymous sources. The investigation reportedly began in December. ByteDance is based in China, and TikTok is facing possibility of being banned in the United States if it did not sever ties with its owners based in China.

“We have strongly condemned the actions of the individuals found to be involved, who are no longer employed by ByteDance,” the company told Forbes this week. “Our internal investigations are still ongoing, and we will cooperate with any official investigations when they are brought to us,” he added.

The surveillance targeted American and British journalists

ByteDance’s internal investigation, which was triggered by news reports detailing the surveillance, “found that employees tracked down multiple journalists covering the company, improperly gaining access to their IP addresses and user data in an effort to determine if they were in the same locations as ByteDance.” employees,” Forbes wrote in Decadding:

The investigation, known internally as Project Raven, began this summer after BuzzFeed News I posted a story revealing that ByteDance employees in China have repeatedly accessed US user data, based on more than 80 hours of audio recordings of internal TikTok meetings. According to internal ByteDance documents reviewed by Forbes, Project Raven included the head of the company’s privacy and security office, was known to TikTok’s head of global legal compliance, and was approved by ByteDance employees in China. and tracked down Emily Baker-White, Kathryn Schwab, and Richard Neva, three Forbes journalists formerly of BuzzFeed News.

Forbes wrote that the surveillance campaign “aims to uncover the source of the leaks within the company after a drumbeat of stories exposing the company’s continuing ties to China.” ByteDance’s head of internal auditors, Chris Liptak, has been fired, the report said, while Song Yi, the executive director in China for Liptak, reported his resignation.

The Financial Times reporter has reportedly been targeted by the company’s watch. The company said: “Two employees in the US and two in China obtained access to the IP addresses and other personal data of FT journalist Cristina Cridle, to see if she was in close proximity to any ByteDance employees. The Financial Times wrote in December.

Criddle wrote articles “revealing that dozens of employees have left TikTok’s London office and some have worked 12-hour days or been demoted after taking time off.” books.

He owns TikTok He said It will restructure the Internal Audit and Risk Control department and remove all access to user data and permissions for the department. We contacted ByteDance today and will update this article if the company provides any additional comment.

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