Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, is the latest individual to admit that former President Donald Trump was right about the dangers posed by the China-owned video-sharing app TikTok, Fox News reports.
Wray made the admission on Friday during a speech that he gave at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Wray, during his speech, clarified the dangers of TikTok.
Wray, for example, highlighted the fact that Chinese officials are able to control TikTok's recommendation algorithm, which, according to Wray, "allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations." Some pundits even argue that China did this to influence the midterm elections here in the U.S.
Wray went on to point to more dangers. Another danger according to Wray is that "the Chinese government could use [TikTok] to control data collection on millions of users."
Besides influence operations, Wrays said that China could use these tools "to control software on millions of devices, which gives the opportunity to potentially tactically compromise personal devices."
"All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that's very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us," Wray said.
It was Trump, back in August 2020, who decided to ban TikTok, citing national security concerns based on the sorts of ideas mentioned by Wray.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said.
Many pushed back on Trump's decision, including many Democrats. When Joe Biden became president, he revoked Trump's ban, but Biden also ordered a federal investigation of TikTok.
Before long, reports began emerging demonstrating that Trump was right, that TikTok could access and has accessed user information. Just recently, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr argued, "I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban."
Carr said that there isn't "a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party]."
Now, many are admitting that Trump was right. Some, like Wray, are doing so more quietly, while others have done so more directly.
Still, it remains to be seen what, if anything, the government will do about the threats that TikTok poses.