How Does a China-Affiliated Outfit Identify Insider Threats? Surveillance, Of Course

December 26, 2022

I will not revisit my comments about the risks posed by TikTok to the US. I do find it amusing that statements offered in one of those “Thank you, Senator, for that question….” sessions has been demonstrated to be false. Hello, perjury?

TokTok Admits Tracking FT Journalist in Leaks Investigation” reports:

Two members of staff in the US and two in China gained access to the IP addresses and other personal data of FT journalist Cristina
Criddle, to work out if she was in the proximity of any ByteDance employees, the company said. However, the company failed to find any leaks.
A BuzzFeed journalist and a number of users connected to the reporters through their TikTok accounts were also targeted.

A government has the capacity to surveil who and when and where it wants. When a company focuses on vulnerable demographics and is directly affiliated with a government, Houston, we have a problem.

More problematic when that government/company can feed information to targeted users, that information can shape the impressionable target’s world view. That’s an opportunity creator. Toss in keep track of what immature minds do only may provide some useful information to force a target to take an action or else. The else can include salacious videos and much, much more interesting immature behavior. If released, the mature version of the nude dance at a high school party might derail a promotion at a secretive high-tech company, creating an opening for a more compliant target to apply for the job. Exciting? Yep.

What’s the tally? Deception. Check. Invasion of a non Chinese citizen’s rights. Check. Information warfare. Check.

Yep, TikTok.

Stephen E Arnold, December 26, 2022


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