Any mobile applications developed in Russia are a “potential counterintelligence threat,” the United States said.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation considers any mobile applications developed in Russia to be a “potential counterintelligence threat”. In particular, we are talking about the popular app FaceApp. The FBI calls him a potential threat to the U.S. presidential election. top News tells the details.
FaceApp can be used by the FSB
The FBI believes that any mobile applications developed in Russia are a “potential counterintelligence threat”. As U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on his Twitter page, the FBI responded to his July request for the FaceApp app.
This conclusion was made by the FBI based on the type of data collected by the application, the terms of its use and the connection with the capabilities of the Russian government, which has access to such information in the country, the document says.
The letter from Jill Tyson, assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs, notes that legal mechanisms allow the Russian government to access data within its state borders.
The RUSSIAN FEDERAL Security Service has “powerful capabilities” in the field of information technology and can “remotely access all communications and servers in Russian networks without accessing Internet providers,” Tyson said.
The FBI’s response also stresses that the bureau will take action if it turns out that the FaceApp app is interfering in future U.S. elections in any way.
For this reason, Schumer urged Americans to be careful when downloading applications developed in foreign countries that are not allies of America.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked about the FBI’s FaceApp report.
“I have the pleasure of refusing to comment on the actions of the FBI,” Peskov said, noting that such decisions of the FBI, in his opinion, can stop competition.
What data FaceApp gets
Schumer said it’s not clear how and when FaceApp provides user data to other companies and foreign governments.
In July of this year, the app, released in 2017, experienced the second peak of popularity around the world, including among celebrities who supported the faceApp Challenge.
The Russian app with an aging function in mid-summer 2019 unexpectedly came out on top in the App Store and Google Play in many countries around the world. FaceApp uses neural networks to process photos.
Experts also draw attention to the app’s requirement to connect to the internet for work, which in theory could mean that the app transmits uploaded photos of the user somewhere.
The user agreement states that FaceApp obtains the user’s consent to use his name, appearance, voice, and other individual traits, “sufficient to establish a person’s identity.”
It also states that the app can collect a variety of information about the smartphone: “including, but not limited to, cookies, logs, device identifiers, location data, and usage data.” Details in the material Threat to National Security: what FaceApp is accused of.
The app, whose developers are based in St. Petersburg, requires full and unconditional access to personal photos and data, which means the company can then use them without the consent of users, Schumer said at the time.
After that, the creator of FaceApp, a former employee of Yandex, Yaroslav Goncharov assured that the data received from users is stored and processed in the “cloud” and deleted in a timely manner.
We only upload a photo that the user has chosen to edit. We never transfer other images from the phone to the “cloud,”” he said. In addition, most images uploaded to FaceApp are reportedly removed from servers within 48 hours.
The company also does not sell or share any user data with third parties, the statement said. The data is not transmitted to Russia, FaceApp said.