There was outrage across the internet when people found out about President Donald Trump’s plans to ban TikTok in the US. But it looks like the popular video-sharing app isn’t going down without a fight, as they launch plans to sue Trump’s administration.
On August 6th, Trump signed an executive order that bans TikTok owners Bytedance from making any transactions in the US starting September 20th.
The order claimed that “TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories.”
In order to protect themselves, Bytedance has been in talks to sell the US operations on to another company, with Microsoft seeming to be the most likely buyer.
But with September 20th creeping ever closer, Bytedance have taken a more direct approach to preventing the ban by announcing they would be suing Trump’s administration, possibly as soon as Tuesday, August 11.
According to National Public Radio, the lawsuit will argue that the ban is “unconstitutional” because Bytedance wasn’t given a chance to respond to the US administration. The company also claims that the ban is based on “pure speculation and conjecture.”
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Trump’s administration has not yet responded to the threat of a lawsuit, but a spokesman for the White House Judd Deere claimed they were committed to protecting the American people from all cyber-related threats to critical infrastructure, public health and safety, and our economic and national security.”
What’s the real reason behind the ban?
While Trump claims that personal data-mining is the reason for the ban, some theories have pointed to an alternative motive.
In June, TikTok users registered for thousands of tickets to a Trump rally with no intention of ever turning up. The rally was held at the BOK center, which has a 19,000 seat capacity, but only 6200 tickets were ever actually scanned in.
While there’s no guessing what the outcome of this bitter battle between US administration and Bytedance will be, it will certainly be interesting to see who will end off worse off. And if the ban does go ahead, how will the huge US TikTok userbase deal with it?