TikTok, a popular video-sharing mobile app owned by a Chinese company, sued the US government on Monday over President Donald Trump’s efforts to ban the app in the US.
The lawsuit comes a month after Trump, invoking theInternational Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), issued an executive order that would effectively ban the operation of TikTok in the US. In the order, Trump stated that TikTok poses a threat to national security because it is owned by a Chinese company (ByteDance Ltd), and it collects vast amounts of data from its users. Trump expressed his concerns that TikTok could give China access to the data it collects from its American users and thus allow China to track federal employees, build dossiers for blackmail, etc. He then gave TikTok 45 days to find a US buyer in order to keep the ban from going into effect.
TikTok challenged the ban on Monday, claiming that the executive order not only violates due process but also misuses the IEEPA by authorizing “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.”
TikTok accused the US government of failing to act in good faith, stating that “[t]he President’s demands for payments have no relationship to any conceivable national security concern and serve only to underscore that Defendants failed to provide Plaintiffs with the due process required by law” To further this argument, TikTok also pointed out that the US government ignored the many security measures it took to alleviate the US government’s concerns, including having the app’s key personnel be Americans and storing the US users’ data in the US and in Singapore.
The US government has yet to comment on the lawsuit.