President Donald Trump signed an executive order against ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, earlier this month.
TikTok is suing the US government. The lawsuit, filed Monday, August 24, challenges an executive order issued by President Donald Trump on August 6 that prohibits “any transaction” between Americans and TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. The company argued in a blog post on its website that by signing this decree, the US administration ignored TikTok’s right to have a “due process” as provided for in the Fifth Amendment. of the Constitution of the United States.
TikTok also claimed that the US government had no evidence to support its claims that the app would pose a risk to national security because of its ties to China through ByteDance. The U.S. government has argued that the Chinese government would have access to TikTok user data, which it could use to spy on U.S. citizens. “It’s time for us to take action,” TikTok said in its blog post.
“We do not take suing the government lightly, but we believe that we have no choice but to act to protect our rights, as well as the rights of our community and our employees. “.
The US government has launched a large-scale offensive against TikTok in recent months, aimed at suppressing TikTok’s presence in the United States. The Trump administration has released two related executive orders in recent weeks, but the lawsuit filed by TikTok specifically challenges Donald Trump’s first executive order, which is expected to take effect in mid-September.
A decree justified by a national emergency
The Trump administration issued this executive order under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), a law that gives Donald Trump the power to declare a national emergency, during which he has “broad power.” to regulate foreign economic transactions on the grounds of national security risks.
TikTok’s lawsuit, filed in California federal court, said the executive order did not allow TikTok to benefit from the process provided by law.
He also disputed the US administration’s claims regarding national security risks, arguing that the company had taken “extraordinary measures” to protect the privacy and security of US users.
TikTok’s Chinese origins are of concern
The company’s roots in China have long raised concerns among U.S. lawmakers about the Chinese government’s access and influence over user data and content moderation. Senators Chuck Schumer, Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio have called for investigations into the app on national security grounds.
In recent ads, Donald Trump’s election campaign accused TikTok of “spying on you”. And government entities as well as the two major US political parties have banned the app on their employees’ phones.
TikTok has also faced claims that the app censors certain types of videos, including those categorized as “culturally problematic.” In one case, TikTok suspended user Ferrora Aziz’s account shortly after she posted a video criticizing the Chinese government’s treatment of Uighur Muslims.
And internal guidelines – which the company says it no longer uses – said the platform was limiting content from creators it deemed more prone to harassment, including users it classified as ugly, overweight or disabled.
A timely diversion for GAFAM
TikTok recently tried to prove it has distanced itself from China, launching a content advisory board to guide policy changes and appointing a US-based CEO in June. The company has also taken action on issues with user data. “We store all US TikTok user data in the US, with backup redundancy in Singapore,” the company said in a blog post last October.
The pressure on TikTok is a boon to American competitors who have failed to curb the app’s rise and influence. The focus on TikTok has also diverted the attention of the US government from companies like Facebook and Google, which are under investigation to determine whether they have engaged in anti-competitive practices.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in particular, has criticized the technological dominance of TikTok and China, while promoting Facebook as a patriotic alternative.