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On August 6th, the United States President Donald Trump released an executive order banning the use or liaison of TikTok with American citizens. The decision to sign the bill results from the White House’s efforts to create a clean network by severing telecommunication and infrastructural ties with Chinese companies.
The order will stop the app from releasing software updates and eventually make the app unmanageable and non-functional. It also sets to force Apple and Google to remove it from their App Stores.
Apart from this, over 1000 US-based employees that receive their paycheck from TikTok could get no paychecks indefinitely. This law will force their landlords to evict them and make it impossible to get lawyers in America.
TikTok, owned by a Chinese tech firm ByteDance, plans to file a lawsuit as early as Tuesday, August 11th, in the United States district court. The court is in the Southern District of California, where their American operation base resides.
The approach of the lawsuit will be an argument for the unconstitutional nature of the order. According to a source familiar with TikTok’s internal matters, it seemed rushed and did not give them a chance to respond or make a case.
They also claim that the basis of the order is purely speculative. It has no proof of illegal or unauthorized data distribution by the app. Trump’s administration argues that TikTok poses a national security and privacy threat because the Chinese government can demand and receive data on Americans.
“The data TikTok gets is not sufficient enough to pose a threat, and there is no reason to believe they are getting any other data… The Huawei ban was more understandable because the mobile phone has more data access than a social media app like TikTok.”Cybersecurity Specialist and CEO Zak Doffman
The White House refused to comment on the litigation. However, Judd Deere, the White House spokesperson, said that the administration’s commitment is to protect Americans from cyber-related threats.TikTok had not made any public statement about the lawsuit at the moment of writing, but when asked, they linked to this blog post. They promised to pursue all remedies to ensure that their users get fair treatment and that the rule of law remains supreme.