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TikTok admits spying on journalists; a US ban may be on the way

Bad news for all TikTok users in the US! The controversial Chinese company behind the popular social network is in trouble again. ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has admitted to the unauthorized access of journalists’ data by its employees. The employees responsible for the breach have been fired, according to The New York Times. The incident, which was first reported by BuzzFeed News in June 2022, involved the alleged access of nonpublic data on TikTok users in the United States by ByteDance employees based in China. The disclosure undermines previous statements by ByteDance denying the possibility of such data access and is likely to further damage TikTok’s reputation, as it has already faced scrutiny and bans on government-issued devices in the U.S. over national security concerns. Here’s what happened! During an internal investigation by ByteDance to find out who leaked some internal audio recordings, the private information of three Forbes journalists who had previously worked for BuzzFeed News, a Financial Times reporter, and a small group of people who were connected to the private information of the targeted journalists was leaked.

Forbes journalists claim that they have reviewed internal documents from ByteDance that reveal that the company’s Chief Security and Privacy Office led a project called “Project Raven” to identify employees leaking information to the press. It’s unclear if “Project Raven’s” sole objective was to find internal leakers or if it was a tool for espionage that the company approved.

Whatever the case, TikTok is facing a ban in the United States, which could leave about 80 million monthly active users without access to their favorite social network. What do you think about it? Should TikTok be banned?

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