TikTok and parent company ByteDance filed a new lawsuit late Friday to try to block the Trump administration’s ban of US downloads of the popular TikTok short-video app. The suit, filed in federal court in Washington, DC, says the administration overstepped its bounds and violated free speech when it decided earlier Friday to go ahead with the download ban, which would kick in on Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump has issued executive orders saying China’s ByteDance must sell off the app’s US operations or face a ban of the app in the states. The administration says it has national security worries about the TikTok app because the app collects data on its US users and ByteDance could be compelled by China’s communist government to share that information. TikTok has repeatedly said such concerns are baseless.
Friday’s lawsuit says Trump and the US Commerce Department “took this extraordinary action of prohibiting a popular communication and information-sharing platform without affording its owners .. due process of law, and for political reasons rather than because of any ‘unusual and extraordinary threat’ to the United States,” the Journal said in its report, published Saturday.
TikTok also made the due process argument in an earlier lawsuit, filed in August.
The administration is currently reviewing a deal between Oracle and ByteDance that would make US-based Oracle the “trusted technology provider” in the states for TikTok, in a way that would address the concerns over user data.
The administration’s Friday decision means TikTok won’t be available for download from places like Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store starting Sunday.
Neither TikTok, ByteDance, nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment on the new suit.