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Trump, TikTok ban

TikTok sues US government over Trump ban

‘We do not take suing the government lightly, however we feel we have no choice but to take action to protect our rights, and the rights of our community and employees’

Today (August 24), TikTok filed a lawsuit against the US government challenging the Trump administration’s efforts to ban the company from operating in America, CNBC reports.

Earlier this month, Donald Trump signed an executive order under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act that would ban TikTok from the US over concerns about data security with Chinese companies. The ban is set to take place from September 15.

TikTok – which is owned by the China-based company ByteDance – says that it’s a private company that doesn’t share data with the Chinese government. In a blog post today, the company argues that the ban prevents the company from due process, something that is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. They add that the executive order ignored the company’s efforts to prove it doesn’t share data with the Chinese government and isn’t a national security threat.

“We do not take suing the government lightly, however we feel we have no choice but to take action to protect our rights, and the rights of our community and employees,” the company writes.

“With the Executive Order threatening to bring a ban on our US operations – eliminating the creation of 10,000 American jobs and irreparably harming the millions of Americans who turn to this app for entertainment, connection, and legitimate livelihoods that are vital especially during the pandemic – we simply have no choice.” 

TikTok was reported to be planning the lawsuit earlier this month.

The lawsuit doesn’t challenge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’ decision that ByteDance must divest its US assets by November 12. Companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have discussed buying TikTok’s US, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand operations. The White House declined to comment on the lawsuit.

“The executive order seeks to ban TikTok purportedly because of the speculative possibility that the application could be manipulated by the Chinese government,” TikTok says in its lawsuit. “But, as the US government is well aware, Plaintiffs have taken extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok’s US user data, including by having TikTok store such data outside of China (in the United States and Singapore) and by erecting software barriers that help ensure that TikTok stores its US user data separately from the user data of other ByteDance products.”