FBI warns FaceApp poses ‘potential counterintelligence threat’
Weblog: Users of Russian-owned app may be vulnerable to FSB access
FaceApp says it removes all user photos from its servers within 48 hours and much data is stored outside of Russia.
Following a call for investigation into the face-morphing app back in July by Democratic US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, the FBI has indicated that Russian-owned FaceApp poses a “potential counterintelligence threat”.
Schumer tweeted about the hugely popular app on Monday: “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.”
He also publicly shared a letter from the FBI in which concerns are voiced about the reach – specifically the “robust cyber exploitation capabilities” – of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The letter clarified: “In other words, the FSB can remotely access all communications and servers on Russian networks without making a request to ISPs.”
“Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia,” company founder Yaroslav Goncharov has previously told RTE News.