Biden DOJ Aims To Exploit TikTok For Surveillance

United States government regulators have recently made concerted efforts to broker an agreement with TikTok in order to prevent the app’s potential ban. Forbes managed to obtain a draft contract exchanged between TikTok and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Notably, many of the requisites outlined by the government bore a striking resemblance to surveillance methods often attributed to Chinese officials. Persistent concerns exist regarding the potential surveillance utilization by the Chinese Communist Party, and the draft agreement aimed to pivot TikTok into an entity controlled by the American government.

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According to the report by Forbes, the preliminary agreement, composed during the summer of 2022, would have granted the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense a degree of access to TikTok.

This anticipated agreement would have allowed these federal entities to conduct unannounced searches at TikTok’s U.S. headquarters, meticulously examine files, and delve into servers hosting the app’s operations.

TikTok, rather than confirming or denying the draft agreement, provided an explanation of their ongoing collaboration with CFIUS.

A TikTok spokesperson claimed, “We’ve collaborated with CFIUS for over a year to implement a national security agreement, investing substantial resources to fortify a data firewall safeguarding U.S. user data…Our commitment to safeguarding U.S. national security interests exceeds industry norms.”

If adopted in its current form, these provisions would authorize external auditors and source code inspectors to meticulously oversee TikTok’s activities within the United States. The document encompassed inputs from ByteDance, the Chinese-owned parent entity of TikTok.

Numerous U.S. politicians and individuals exposing sensitive information have raised allegations concerning deep-rooted ties between ByteDances leadership and the Chinese Communist Party and the potential security threat.

Approximately four years ago, during the tenure of President Donald Trump, CFIUS initiated an investigation into ByteDance’s operations due to mounting concerns expressed by lawmakers and the general populace. These concerns revolved around the potential exploitation of the app for intelligence-gathering purposes by Chinese government authorities.

Recent developments encompassing investigations and disclosures by whistleblowers have cast a pall over TikTok’s assertions regarding the impregnability of their data security measures and the privacy of its users.

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