TikTok Sues the U.S. Government

Posted on August 24, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft, Social with 28 Comments

As promised, TikTok has sued the U.S. government for attempting to ban its social media app in the United States without due process.

“The Executive Order issued by the Administration on August 6, 2020 has the potential to strip the rights of [the TikTok] community without any evidence to justify such an extreme action, and without any due process,” the firm explains in a blog post. “We strongly disagree with the Administration’s position that TikTok is a national security threat and we have articulated these objections previously.”

According to TikTok, it has gone to great lengths to convince the U.S. government that it is serious about serving its U.S.-based audience and is not a national security threat of any kind. But it’s communications have simply been ignored.

“The key personnel responsible for TikTok, including its CEO, Global Chief Security Officer, and General Counsel, are all Americans based in the United States—and therefore are not subject to Chinese law,” TikTok points out. “U.S. content moderation is likewise led by a U.S.-based team and operates independently from China, and … the TikTok application stores U.S. user data on servers located in the United States and Singapore.”

“The [executive] order [to ban TikTok] is not based on a bona fide national emergency and authorizes the prohibition of activities that have not been found to pose ‘an unusual and extraordinary threat’,” TikTok’s lawsuit says. “To be clear, we far prefer constructive dialogue over litigation. But 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.”

Despite all this, TikTok continues to discuss selling its U.S. and other non-China assets to Microsoft, Oracle, or some other U.S. company.

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