Archive for November 2, 2020

Tik Tok Ban Shot Down In Court

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 2, 2020 by itnerd

Forbes reports that TikTok “cannot be shut down in the United States next month, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Friday afternoon, the latest setback in President Donald Trump’s push to force the Chinese-owned app to be transferred to American ownership.” Here’s the details:

In an August executive order that labeled TikTok a national security threat, Trump required Beijing-based tech company ByteDance to sell its popular short-form video app to an American firm by Nov. 12, or else the federal government would enforce restrictions on data transfers that effectively make the app unusable. Pennsylvania Judge Wendy Beetlestone blocked that order Friday, issuing a preliminary injunction while the court considers a lawsuit brought by several TikTok content creators.

Beetlestone said Trump probably doesn’t have the power to block TikTok: he tried to force a sale using a 43-year-old law that gives him broad power over international transactions that pose threats to national security, but that law exempts “informational materials” like artwork and news, a category Beetlestone said includes TikTok videos…

The U.S. Department of Commerce plans to comply with Beetlestone’s injunction, but it will “vigorously defend” Trump’s executive order from this legal challenge, a spokesperson told Forbes.

Well good luck with that. Like a lot of Trump’s executive orders, this one is getting shot out of the sky. At least for now. And I am going to go out on limb and suggest that the executive order hasn’t got long to live. Though I suspect that Trump has bigger issues to deal with at the moment and Tik Tok is the least of his problems.