06:43 GMT17 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A US House Subcommittee on National Security has sent letters to the tech giants Apple and Google asking the companies to provide information about how they ensure that the mobile applications distributed via their platforms do not pose risks to national security.

    In a questionnaire submitted to Google and Apple, Subcommittee Chairman Stephen Lynch specifically asked if the two companies require software developers to disclose their potential overseas affiliations.

    "Given the pervasiveness of smartphone technology in the United States, as well as the vast amounts of information stored on those devices, foreign adversaries may be able to collect sensitive information about US citizens, which presents serious and immediate risks for US national security", Lynch said.

    Lynch warned that foreign adversaries may attempt to collect information on US government personnel in order to blackmail and recruit them or exert undue influence in the course of policymaking.

    "In addition, artificial intelligence could enable foreign adversaries to manipulate user-provided data to create profiles on average US citizens that could be leveraged in future military conflicts or diplomatic disputes", Lynch said.

    Lynch noted a recent FBI assessment that said the agency is treating any Russian-developed mobile application, including the popular FaceApp software, as a counterintelligence threat.

    Russian state-owned tech giant Rostec responded to the FBI allegations by calling them "fake news" and a "new Russian scare story".

    FBI, United States, Apple, Google, Rostec
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