TikTok sues U.S. President for ban
TikTok has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration alleging a ban announced by the President was “heavily politicized”.
Brain Fung reported for CNN:
TikTok sued the Trump administration Monday in response to what it said is a “heavily politicized” executive order that seeks to ban the short-form video app from the United States.
The suit marks a major escalation in the fight between President Donald Trump and the wildly popular TikTok, which has 100 million users in the US and is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance.
TikTok argued in California federal court that the administration did not give the company a fair chance to defend itself from allegations that it poses a national security risk. And it claimed Trump’s executive order illegally rests on emergency powers law in ways that do not apply to TikTok.
Bobby Allyn from NPR wrote:
The Trump administration has long maintained that TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, could share Americans’ personal data with China’s authoritarian government, something the White House considers a national security threat.
But in its lawsuit, TikTok said it has taken “extraordinary measures” to protect the privacy of more than 100 million U.S. citizens who use TikTok by storing their data outside China in Virginia, with backup in Singapore, as well as building “software barriers” to ensure data that TikTok harvests stays separate from ByteDance.
The Verge’s Adi Robertson noted:
TikTok cites some complex and unusual legal concerns around the order. It notes that personal communications and “informational materials” — potentially including apps — are typically exempt from sanctions. And it argues that TikTok’s app code is “an expressive means of communication” covered by the First Amendment.
Microsoft had already expressed interest in buying TikTok and committed to discussions with ByteDance before the order, but Trump’s sanctions increased pressure to sell. As TikTok notes, he also suggested that any deal would have to make the Treasury Department “a lot of money.”