TikTok Sues Trump Administration For Banning US Activities
The company calls these measures an election ploy.
TikTok and separately one of its employees filed a lawsuit against the administration of the President of the United States on Monday Donald Trump due to his decree to ban video service transactions in the United States, calling it an excuse to foment anti-Chinese rhetoric as he seeks to win elections.
Culver City, California-based TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance Ltd, rejected what they called the White House’s stance on national security threats, saying they accepted «emergency measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok user data in the United States».
They also called Trump’s call in his August 6 decree to ban TikTok as a means of continuing his alleged «a broader campaign in line with anti-Chinese rhetoric». This comes on the eve of the US presidential election on November 3, in which Trump is running for a second term..
«We don’t take legal action against the government lightly, ”TikTok said on its blog. – But with a presidential decree threatening to ban our operations in the United States … we just have no choice».
Patrick Ryan, a technical program manager at TikTok, has sued the Trump administration over fears that he and his 1,500 colleagues, including many with work visas, will lose their jobs next month if Trump’s executive order is enforced.
«These are not decisions that belong to the government, Ryan said in an interview. It’s not good even to think so».
Alex Urbelis, attorney representing Ryan in federal court in San Francisco said the decree suffers «unconstitutional ambiguity» and deprives TikTok employees of due process.
The White House sent a request for comment to the U.S. Department of Justice, which declined to comment on the company’s claim and did not provide a prompt response to Reuters’ request for comment on Ryan’s case..
TikTok and ByteDance are pushing for a permanent ban on the execution of Trump’s August 6th order. They argue that the Trump administration violated their constitutional right to due process by banning the company without the ability for it to respond to these allegations..
They also argue that Trump did not have the proper legal authority to issue the executive order, saying he abused the International Economic Emergency Powers Act, which allows the president to regulate international trade during a national emergency..
In May 2019, Trump enacted this law to stop alleged attempts by foreign telecom companies to conduct economic and industrial espionage against the United States..
Trump and US Secretary of Commerce Named Defendants in Los Angeles Federal Court Lawsuit Wilbur Ross.
Amid growing mistrust between Washington and Beijing, Trump has been complaining for weeks that TikTok poses a threat to national security, allegedly the company could share user information with the Chinese government..
His order dated August 6 demanded that transactions with the application be banned after 45 days..
On August 14, Trump issued a separate executive order giving ByteDance 90 days to restrict TikTok from all U.S. operations and strip the company of any data TikTok collected in the United States..
Reuters revealed last week that TikTok is preparing a legal action.
ByteDance acquired Shanghai-based video app Musical.ly for $ 1 billion in 2017 and relaunched it as TikTok the following year..
TikTok, best known for its short videos of dancing people popular with teens, had 92 million monthly users in the US as of June and 689 million users worldwide as of July, according to the lawsuit..
The Trump administration has said Americans should use TikTok with caution. Under a law passed in 2017 by the President Xi Jinping, Chinese companies are obliged to cooperate with China’s national intelligence.
But TikTok said Trump’s actions on August 6 were not related to real national security concerns and were not driven by the emergency he declared a year earlier..
Order named «a blatant appropriation of IEEPA powers and a pretext for continuing the broader presidential campaign of anti-Chinese rhetoric ahead of the US elections».
ByteDance is in talks to sell TikTok operations in North America, Australia and New Zealand to companies including Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp.
These assets can be worth between $ 25 billion and $ 30 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter..
Prior to purchasing TikTok, ByteDance did not seek prior approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews acquisitions for potential national security risks.
CFIUS later launched an investigation and on July 30 issued a letter informing them of the identified national security risks associated with the purchase. Regulator «repeatedly refused» participate in ByteDance’s suggestions to resolve issues, including a letter of intent to sell a Microsoft service submitted earlier on July 30, as per the lawsuit.
TikTok to sue Donald Trump administration over ban: NPR report