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Pompeo: Some Software Is 'Feeding Data' to Communists

The Secretary of State appears on Fox News Channel's 'Sunday Morning Futures'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2020 3:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump plans to take action on a what he sees as a broad array of national security risks presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday, per the AP. Pompeo's remarks followed reports that Microsoft is in advanced talks to buy the US operations of TikTok, which has been a source of national security and censorship concerns for the Trump administration. "These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, whether it's TikTok or WeChat—there are countless more ... are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus," Pompeo said on Fox News Channel's Sunday Morning Futures.

"Could be their facial recognition patterns. It could be information about their residence, their phone numbers, their friends, who they're connected to. Those—those are the issues that President Trump has made clear we're going to take care of," he said. TikTok's US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access, and its biggest investors come from the US, the company said Sunday. "We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety," a TikTok spokesperson said in part. Trump had said on Friday that he would soon ban TikTok in the US. A federal committee is reviewing whether that's possible, and its members agree TikTok can't stay in America in its current form, because it "risks sending back information on 100 million Americans," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

(Read more Mike Pompeo stories.)

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