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TikTok’s national security briefing may have had an “interesting” source

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A secret national security TikTok briefing to senators may have been based in part on claims from a fired staffer who is now making more…interesting claims.

The former employee says his firing was ordered by the U.S. Attorney General and that the FBI and CIA shared his personal information with foreign governments…

TikTok national security briefing

Last month, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to either ban TikTok from the US or force the app to be sold to an American company. President Biden has said he will sign the order if it passes the Senate and reaches his desk.

Senators appeared less convinced of the need for the law, which is why the Justice Department is pushing for the put option rather than the ban, and the intelligence community has briefed senators on what they see as national security risks.

The alleged risks were so dramatic that two senators said they should be made public. However, it appears that one of the sources of information may not be reliable.

Fired employee makes “interesting” claims

Wired reports that a former TikTok employee claims to have been the source of some of the claims, pointing to additional claims he is making in a wrongful termination lawsuit.

A former TikTok employee turned whistleblower who claims to have pushed major news stories and congressional concerns about the app has now come forward.

Zen Goziker worked at TikTok […] for just six months. He did not hold a senior position within the company.

His lawsuit and a second one he filed in March against several U.S. government agencies make a number of unlikely claims. He claims he was under 24/7 surveillance by TikTok and the FBI while working remotely in Mexico. He claims that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and other top officials “maliciously instigated” his firing. And he alleges that the FBI helped the CIA pass his private information to foreign governments […]

Goziker shared records with WIRED showing that he set up meetings with officials from DHS, the FBI and the Tennessee Attorney General's Office as he sought to raise his concerns about TikTok. He also said he met with staff in the offices of several U.S. senators, including Republican Josh Hawley of Missouri, Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Goziker appears to have been the source of one Washington Post The report makes allegations about US TikTok users' personal data being shared with China – a claim the company denies.

Photo by Mario Heller on Unsplash

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