TikTok poses a security risk for the US, experts warn

Tech

(NewsNation) — TikTok could pose a national security risk and be used as part of China’s intelligence strategy, experts warn.

Former FBI Assistant Director Kevin Brock said China’s government has been open about wanting to be the dominant superpower in the world, and the country has a history of using technology and data in their intelligence operations.

“In today’s intelligence, world, data and information is the currency that intelligence services are after,” Brock said.

People shouldn’t dismiss TikTok as just an app full of teens whose data can’t reveal much, he warned.

It’s not just teens who use TikTok, Brock said, and the company who owns the app is required by law to report data to the Chinese government.

“They use that data, they apply their their analysis techniques to, to mine that data to find vulnerabilities in our society, those people who might possess information that they value, dissidents inside the United States that they can control,” Brock said.

As for legislation to ban TikTok, Brock said it might be more symbolic, given the difficulty of prohibiting Americans from using the popular app.

“But it is a means to alert Americans and others using TikTok that their data is not private, that it will be used for specific purposes that might be inimical to the national security interests of the United States,” Brock explained.

Some states have already begun cracking down on TikTok, preventing public employees from using the app on government devices, including Alabama, Texas, Utah, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota.

TikTok boasts over a billion users worldwide, and reported an average of 111 million active U.S. users per month in 2022.

In his final months in office, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the short video app unless parent company ByteDance sold a controlling interest to American investors, but that order was blocked by the judicial system.

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