DOJ investigates ByteDance for allegedly spying on journalists

According to related sources, the company that owns TikTok had been monitoring them in case they leaked confidential company information.

The Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia are investigating ByteDance, owner of TikTok, for allegedly spying on several U.S. journalists covering technology news.

According to sources close to the case, this is a federal investigation that began at the end of 2022 and is related to the warning issued in November by Christopher Wray. The FBI director warned that the Chinese communist regime was controlling the personal data of millions of users. "We have national security concerns, at least on the FBI side, about TikTok. These include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control the data collection of millions of users or control the recommendation algorithm," he said during his appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee.

Bytedance acknowledges accessing personal data

In December, ByteDance acknowledged that its employees accessed personal data of several journalists to identify whether confidential information of the Chinese company was leaked. The owner of TikTok reported that those workers were laid off, reports The New York Times .

TikTok's grip on the U.S. is tightening. Several states such as Texas, Alaska and North Dakota have banned the use or downloading of the application on cell phones of government officials. This measure was also adopted by the Armed Forces. For its part, the White House issued a statement to all public employees explaining that they would be given 30 days to remove the social network from their devices.

Outside our borders, countries such as Taiwan and Canada and institutions such as the European Parliament have also banned the download and use of TikTok on the devices of public officials.