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Mobile apps developed in Russia, including FaceApp, ‘potential counterintelligence threat’: FBI

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers any mobile app developed in Russia, such as FaceApp, "to be a potential counterintelligence threat". This is given the data that FaceApp collects, its privacy and terms of use, and the legal mechanisms available to the Russian government that "permit access to data within Russia's borders". The FBI said this in response to US Senator Chuck Schumer's July letter to the FBI and FTC about FaceApp that highlighted privacy concerns and fears that FaceApp data could be shared with the Russian government. The Democratic National Committee had even sent an alert to presidential campaigns warning them not to use the app in case the company is sharing data. A warning to share with your family & friends: This year when millions were downloading #FaceApp, I asked the FBI if the app was safe. Well, the FBI just responded. And they told me any app or product developed in Russia like FaceApp is a potential counterintelligence threat. pic.twitter.com/ioMzpp2Xi5 — Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 2, 2019 Russia's intelligence services maintain "robust cyber exploitation capabilities", the FBI said, as shown by the country's surveillance system, within which the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) can obtain telephonic and online communications via direct connection to ISPs. Russian intelligence is able to "remotely access all communication and servers on Russian networks without making a request to ISPs", the FBI stated. FaceApp applies filters to users' photos and went viral in 2017, and again in July 2019 because of a filter…

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