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TikTok is suing the Trump administration because they think the app ban is bullshit

TikTok on the clock, but the party might stop.

tiktok on iphone 11
Image: KnowTechie

On Friday, news began to surface that TikTok was preparing legal action against the Trump administration over the upcoming ban of the ByteDance-owned social media platform. Now, it is official. ByteDance is suing the Trump administration.

In its open letter, ByteDance details how there is little to no due process on the matter, and that the administration straight-up “ignored the great lengths that TikTok has gone to in order to demonstrate our commitment to serving the US market.” TikTok also claims that the executive order violates the due process protections of the Fifth Amendment.

The letter also claims that the administration “authorizes the prohibition of activities that have not been found to be ‘an unusual and extraordinary threat,’ as required by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), under which the Administration is purportedly acting.” The IEEPA states that under “unusual and extraordinary threat” the president may investigate, regulate, or prohibit any transactions with a foreign exchange.

The “transactions” wording here is interesting because that was the vague wording used by Trump in the original 45-day ban announcement.

After starting with a 45-day period in regards to a ban of the app, the Trump administration has changed that to 90-days, to sell or “spin off” the app to a US buyer. In addition to this new deadline, the new executive order also notes TikTok must delete all US data from the app, including data from Musical.ly, which ByteDance bought in 2017.

In a previous statement to The Verge, a TikTok spokesperson claims, “Even though we strongly disagree with the administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution. What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

Microsoft was in talks of buying the platform, but in a recent interview with Wired, Bill Gates described the sale as a “poison chalice.”

It looks like we’re just getting started with this, what do you think? Should Tiktok – in its current form – be banned in the US? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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