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CIA director warns Americans of TikTok, says they should be 'really careful'

New DelhiEdited By: Harshit SabarwalUpdated: Dec 17, 2022, 07:41 PM IST
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Photograph:(Reuters)

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US lawmakers have been cracking down on Chinese companies amid national security fears. In the latest measure late Wednesday, the US Senate passed a bill to bar federal employees from using TikTok on government-owned devices. 

The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) director William Burns on Friday warned that United States citizens should be "really careful'' on TikTok as many federal agencies including the White House banned the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform from government devices.  

In an interview with PBS, Burns said that he shared concerns expressed by other US officials that TikTok could pose a danger to the country's national security. 

"I think it's a genuine concern, I think, for the US government in the sense that because the parent company of TikTok is a Chinese company, the Chinese government is able to… insist upon extracting the private data of a lot of TikTok users in this country and also to shape the content of what goes on to TikTok as well to suit the interests of the Chinese leadership,” Burns said. 

On being asked whether it was a good idea that some American lawmakers wanted to ban TikTok, Burns said, “Well, you know, in my role, see, this is where blessedly as an intelligence, in an intelligence role, I mean, I'm not going to offer judgments on those kind of policy or legislative decisions."

ALSO WATCH | US vs TikTok: CIA Director speaks out on TikTok, William Burns calls concerns 'very real'

However, the CIA director told PBS on Friday it was genuinely troubling to see what the Chinese government could do to manipulate TikTok. 

US lawmakers have been cracking down on Chinese companies amid national security fears.

In the latest measure late Wednesday, the US Senate passed a bill to bar federal employees from using TikTok on government-owned devices, after security concerns were raised by Biden administration officials and both Democrats and Republicans. 

The Senate's action comes after Iowa and North Dakota joined the list of American states in banning the Chinese video-sharing platform, a report by news agency Reuters said on Thursday. 

The bill, however, will not affect American citizens who use TikTok on private or company-owned devices. Meanwhile, the White House has declined to comment on whether President Joe Biden would support the TikTok legislation.  
 

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