The US Department of Justice is investigating the Chinese company ByteDance, owner of TikTok, for spying on two US journalists who cover the technology sector, according to media reports in the country on Friday.
The first to provide the information was the journalist from the magazine forbes Emily Baker-White, one of two reporters whose data was illegally obtained by ByteDance employees, fired after the company acknowledged the incident, in December 2022.
According to forbeswhich cites sources close to the investigation, the FBI has also been conducting interrogations about what happened, although it does not clarify whether the investigations are related.
also the New York Times confirmed the investigation of the US Department of Justice, which according to its sources was launched at the end of last year.
In December, the Chinese company said in a statement that it “firmly” condemned the actions of these employees and that they no longer worked for the company. In addition, he promised to cooperate with any investigation.
Officials will have accessed data such as telephone contacts and IP addresses of journalists while trying to determine whether documents and internal conversations had leaked, reports the New York Times.
The news comes at a time when US authorities are toughening their stance on the TikTok platform, justifying that they fear that the application could be used to collect data, subsequently handed over to the Beijing Government.
In late February, the White House gave US federal agencies 30 days to remove the application from all government electronic devices.
In addition to the United States, the list of countries that have decided to ban TikTok from mobile phones used by state officials has grown over the last few weeks: Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Scotland and New Zealand.