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The Morning After: TikTok's parent company reportedly under FBI investigation

It previously said it’d fired four employees involved in the scheme.

Mario Tama via Getty Images

In December, ByteDance confirmed it fired four employees who used TikTok to spy on the locations of two journalists. Now, Forbes reports the FBI and the Department of Justice have been investigating the incident. This investigation couldn’t come at a worse time, as ByteDance faces mounting pressure to sell its stake in TikTok.

Critics in Congress have previously raised questions about the app’s surveillance tactics, particularly in light of ByteDance’s acknowledgment that employees had inappropriately accessed US user data. "We have strongly condemned the actions of the individuals found to have been involved, and they are no longer employed at ByteDance,” a spokesperson said. “Our internal investigation is still ongoing, and we will cooperate with any official investigations when brought to us."

The incident late last year involved employees accessing the data of several TikTok users in the US, including journalists, to locate the sources of leaks. Forbes reported ByteDance tracked three of its reporters who previously worked for BuzzFeed News. These publications have all run reports on TikTok, with many focusing on alleged ties to the Chinese government.

– Mat Smith

The Morning After isn’t just a newsletter – it’s also a daily podcast. Get our daily audio briefings, Monday through Friday, by subscribing right here.

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'Resident Evil 4' remake review

A half-step backward for Capcom remakes

TMA
TMA (Capcom)

2005’s Resident Evil 4 set the standard for action-horror games when it came out, and the remake shines when it embraces the innovations of the original: over-the-shoulder precision shooting and an atmosphere blending combat and terror. However, the remake loses focus quickly, and it feels like much of Capcom’s effort was poured into upgrading enemies and environments. The RE4 remake introduces new boss fights and also allows Leon to parry powerful attacks. Sometimes. When the prompt does pop up, it’s easily interrupted by environmental nudges, the actions of other enemies and Leon’s own animations. Like most of Leon’s movements, the parry ability is simply too inconsistent to be satisfying.

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Valve's Steam Deck is on sale for the first time

A 10 percent discount coincides with the Steam spring sale.

Valve's terrific portable gaming system is on sale for the first time. The 64GB model is currently $359.10 ($40 off). The 256GB variant has dropped from $529 to $476.10. The 512GB Steam Deck, which has a screen with anti-glare glass and the fastest storage of the bunch, is $65 off at $584.10. The discount will apply in all regions where the Deck ships until 1 PM ET on March 23rd, when the Steam spring sale ends.

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IKEA just launched a $15 waterproof Bluetooth speaker

It’s cute, and it probably goes in your shower.

IKEA's Vappeby lineup continues to grow with a new waterproof Bluetooth speaker for the shower at just $15 – undercutting all but the cheapest no-name devices. "The fundamental goal with the new product was to offer quality sound in a versatile product that can really be used anywhere," said product design developer Stjepan Begic. It offers a surprising 80 hours of battery life at 50 percent volume and is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance. It’s on sale now.

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