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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Comments (28)

28 responses to “TikTok Sues the U.S. Government”

  1. reefer2

    Good for them, hope they kick some presidential dimwit but in the court. Rule of law are the number one separation between a free nation or an authoritarian one.

  2. glenn8878

    The Supreme Court says Executive Orders are laws. Good luck with any court that will rule against it. TikTok in discussion to sell itself will render the EO moot.

  3. glenn8878

    In reply to cavalier_eternal:

    So Congress also delegates it’s power to the President in addition to the power the President holds in his authority. I have to ask, what’s your point?

  4. bobnetgeek

    Didn't work for Kaspersky and they didnt get caught stealing data like tik tok did by Apple

  5. glenn8878

    In reply to cavalier_eternal:

    That’s where judicial rulings are completely unpredictable and no one can say for certain anything is unconstitutional. This can be played out for many months. Essentially, it’s law until sued and then it takes forever to unravel. Only the President can decide national security issues.

  6. ejuly

    I thought we were better than other countries, this is one of many decision this admin has proven that we are no better. I have never used TikTok and most likely will never use.

  7. 1speed

    Canadian steel and aluminum imports to the USA received punitive tariffs (25% and 10%) despite a free trade agreement on the basis of national security. It appears that the US federal government can get away with any restrictive trade policy no matter how ridiculous by playing the national security trump card.

  8. bluvg

    This is revenge for what happened at the Tulsa rally. Disgusting and alarming.

    Microsoft and Oracle and others swooping in like vultures is also disturbing.

    • Greg Green

      In reply to bluvg:

      Is that why India and Wells Fargo banned tiktok?

      • Thretosix

        In reply to lvthunder:

        Tik-tok users worldwide openly said they signed up to show interest enough for them to over prepare for then didn't book tickets. The turn out was pretty bad. Just Google tiktok rally. If this is why the president is banning the app it is quite petty, disgusting, and alarming. Though as a whole I could care less about tiktok or the rally. Is it proof? Probably not. But the information is there if you look for it.

      • bluvg

        In reply to lvthunder:

        A smoking gun document or audio saying "let's take revenge on TikTok because of what happened in Tulsa"? No, of course not. Past behavior and Occam's Razor are pretty compelling. Trying to conceal true motive by citing a "national security concern" over a video service for people filming themselves dancing is patently absurd. And if that's the rationale, there would be far, far more companies that should be targeted as well.

        The executive branch-ordered takeover of companies should be of concern to everyone. These are exactly, precisely some of the types of concerns the US founding fathers were trying to address. If this is allowed to stand, what business is next? And what kind of standard does this set for other countries looking to take over US businesses?

  9. scovious

    What a great idea! I wonder who American companies can sue for China blocking Google, YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, Reddit, Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, Dropbox, WhatsApp, Etsy, Imgur, NY Times, The Guardian, Vimeo and every other social media service?

    Remember when Trump forced China to sell the dating app Grindr to an American investor group and created this precedent? The Federal court probably remembers...

  10. Pierre Masse

    They are obviously buying time until the presidential election. It may work.

  11. sherlockholmes

    Good from TikTok. I dont use the app, but Trump simply cant just do what he wants with a company because he has a thing going on with China.

  12. wright_is

    In reply to Odinson:

    So long as any US entity owns Facebookr, Instagram or Twitter it's a defacto US Government data collection and propaganda asset.


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