The FBI and the US Department of Justice launched an investigation into the activities of ByteDance, whose employees used its TikTok application to spy on American journalists. Previously, the company itself admitted the fact of surveillance and even fired some employees because of it. This has been reported financial times.
ByteDance spoke about its illegal activities in December: employees of the company analyzed the user data of the short video application to locate journalists. The measures were taken as part of an internal investigation into leaking information about the company to the media. In order to clarify the details of the case, the US Department of Justice and the Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia requested additional data from ByteDance, they discovered in forbes.
In particular, ByteDance has shown an unhealthy interest in British Financial Times journalist Christina Criddle (Cristina Criddle) – she wrote a series of articles about the departure of dozens of employees from TikTok’s London office, some working 12-hour days, others were demoted after the holidays. TikTok employees in the US and China analyzed her IP addresses and other personal information to find out if she was in the vicinity of company employees. The source of the leak could not be found. One of the BuzzFeed reporters and several users connected to the journalists through their TikTok accounts were also under surveillance.
“We have strongly condemned the actions of those involved and they are no longer employed by ByteDance. Our internal investigation is ongoing and we will cooperate on any official investigation affecting us.”, — said in ByteDance. US Department of Justice officials declined to comment, and officials from the FBI and the Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia did not respond to a reporter’s request.