Former ByteDance Exec Reveals CCP Had ‘Superuser’ Access

Former ByteDance Exec Reveals CCP Had ‘Superuser’ Access
Picture Credit score: Gabriel Heinzer

A former ByteDance govt has declared in a authorized submitting that members of the Chinese language Communist Occasion (CCP) held ‘superuser’ permission to entry American knowledge on TikTok. Right here’s the newest. 

Yintao Yu served as Head of Engineering for ByteDance in the US in 2018. He filed the allegations in a wrongful dismissal go well with within the San Francisco Superior Court docket in Might 2023. These paperwork reveal that ByteDance held a ‘superuser‘ credential permitting a “particular committee of CCP members stationed on the firm to view all knowledge collected by ByteDance, together with these of U.S. customers.” 

This superuser credential acted as a “backdoor to any barrier ByteDance had supposedly put in to guard knowledge from CCP surveillance,” in response to the submitting. Yu says he noticed the CCP make the most of its superuser entry to trace Hong Kong protestors and civil rights activists via monitoring their places and gadgets, SIM card identification, IP addresses, community info, and communications on the platform. 

Yu’s lawyer, Charles Jung, instructed BusinessInsider that he selected to lift the allegations after listening to current Congressional testimony from TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. In that testimony, Chew denies that Chinese language authorities might entry giant swathes of American knowledge.

TikTok stays below intense U.S. scrutiny over its knowledge dealing with. However each the U.S. navy and authorities consider the app presents a nationwide safety threat. They’ve banned the app on authorities gadgets—and FBI Christopher Wray has issued warnings regarding CCP entry to knowledge and the way TikTok algorithms could be manipulated. 

TikTok has over 150 million month-to-month energetic customers in the US alone. Internationally, that quantity skyrockets to over one billion. What does superuser entry imply and why is that regarding? A superuser is identical as an administrator. It means the account can entry each a part of the community—no matter safeguards set as much as sandbox different accounts. Superuser entry means the posturing of TikTok’s ‘Mission Texas‘ was simply an phantasm of safety designed to distract like smoke and mirrors in a magic trick. 

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