REPORT: DOJ looking into TikTok owner over surveillance of journalists

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The Justice Department (DOJ) is investigating the Chinese company that owns the video-sharing platform TikTok over the potential surveillance of journalists who cover technology, multiple outlets reported Friday.

Three people familiar with the matter told the New York Times that the DOJ is investigating the company’s surveillance of U.S. citizens broadly too. The Times reported that the probe seems to be related to the admission from ByteDance, which owns TikTok, in December that some of its employees inappropriately gained access to some U.S. citizens’ user data.

Internal emails that the Times obtained showed the company conducted an internal investigation and found employees gained access to data from two journalists and people associated with them. Forbes reported following the Times’ report that two additional journalists that work for the outlet were also tracked.

The employees were working as part of a monitoring program to try to find the source of leaks. Four of the employees involved in obtaining the data were fired for their actions.

An insider told the Times for its Friday report that the DOJ’s criminal division, the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia are conducting the joint investigation. A spokesperson for TikTok and ByteDance told The Hill that the company “strongly” condemns the actions of the employees who obtained the data on the journalists, solidifying they have been fired from the company.

The Biden administration has reportedly threatened to ban the use of TikTok in the US unless the popular video sharing app’s China-based owners sell their stakes.

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  1. Surveillance of ANYONE who has tiktok NEVER had it and I never will if people don’t know by now and are STILL on I have no sympathy


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