National Security

FBI Director Chris Wray Says He’s ‘Extremely Concerned’ About TikTok Threat


James Lynch Contributor
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FBI Director Christopher Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee that he is “extremely concerned” about Chinese-controlled video platform TikTok operating in the United States.

Wray told the committee Tuesday that the FBI has national security concerns about TikTok, specifically the possibility of China collecting data on users through the platform. The bureau is also worried about the recommendation algorithm being used for influence operations or controlling software on millions of devices. He refused to provide more information about what the FBI is doing to counteract perceived national security threats posed by TikTok. (RELATED: Report Exposes TikTok Accounts As ‘Portals To Illegal Child Sexual Abuse’)

The Committee on Foreign Investment within the U.S. Treasury Department is currently reviewing TikTok’s status in the U.S. because of national security concerns. A New York Times report indicated the Biden administration has a draft agreement with TikTok to resolve such concerns without forcing changes to its ownership structure.

Extensive reporting published by Forbes earlier this year revealed plans by Chinese-owned TikTok parent company Bytedance to monitor the physical location of American citizens. Materials obtained by Forbes showed at least two cases of internal audit employees at Bytedance planning to collect location data on U.S. citizens. The company denied the report at the time and slammed Forbes for lacking journalistic integrity.

A separate investigation by BuzzFeed showed U.S. data from TikTok was repeatedly accessed in China. The outlet obtained leaked audio from 80 TikTok meetings about China-based employees of Bytedance accessing non public data about American users.

BuzzFeed also received statements from nine different TikTok employees affirming that engineers in China had access to U.S. user data from September 2021 and January 2022. Republican Rep. Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee cited the allegations during congressional hearings Tuesday, to which Wray refused to respond.

TikTok has not responded to a request for comment by the Daily Caller.