Trump vs. TikTok: It’s on.
The administration has TikTok for , culminating in President Donald Trump’s of Aug. 6 seeking to ban the app in the United States. The president and his administration cite TikTok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, as the reasoning behind its decision. According to the administration, there are cybersecurity concerns stemming from the company’s data privacy practices and the possibility of the Chinese government accessing TikTok’s data.
That reasoning plays a huge part in the lawsuit TikTok has filed today against the Trump administration. TikTok, in its complaint, accuses the Trump administration of having political, not security-related, intentions in banning the video app.
“The executive order is not rooted in bona fide national security concerns,” reads a section of the suit highlighted by TikTok in its announcement. “Independent national security and information security experts have criticized the political nature of this executive order, and expressed doubt as to whether its stated national security objective is genuine…”
TikTok recently a new website focused on debunking misinformation about the platform. The site highlights cybersecurity expert opinions that showcase that, at worst, TikTok’s privacy and data security issues are no more of a concern than those posed by Facebook and other U.S.-based social media platforms.
However, it should be noted that the administration took similar action against the LGBTQ dating app, Grindr last year. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States successfully forced the app’s Chinese owners to sell off Grindr over security issues.
Trump’s TikTok order gave ByteDance until September to sell the app to a U.S. company if it wanted TikTok to continue operating in the U.S. That timeframe has since been extended by Trump until after the November election. Companies like , , and have all expressed interest in buying TikTok.
However, Trump has also openly talked about his wish that the U.S. government receive a cut of any TikTok acquisition. Experts have shared their confusion over Trump’s payment request as no law exists facilitating such a thing.
“The 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,” the complaint continues.