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US insists on need to ban TikTok

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Oct 26, 2020 - 09:35 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — US President Donald Trump’s administration has insisted on the need to ban TikTok due to national security concerns in a new court filing ahead of a plan to make the video app unavailable on November 12.

The filing comes as the court considers the legality of the administration’s bid to make the Chinese-owned app unavailable in the United States, where it has 100 million users.

“The president should not be prevented from regulating national security threats simply because a foreign adversary cloaks its activities within a media company,” the filing on Friday at a federal court in Washington says.

The Trump administration is seeking to persuade the judge in the case to allow it to move forward with restrictions on the video-sharing app, which it claims has links to the Chinese government through its parent firm ByteDance.

In September, a temporary injunction prevented the government from removing TikTok from mobile application download platforms.

That Trump administration order had sought to ban new downloads of the app but continue to allow use of TikTok until November 12, when all usage would be blocked.

The judge at the time denied TikTok’s request to suspend the November 12 ban, but the court has yet to consider the merits of the legal arguments on whether the social platform should remain available to Americans.

TikTok has repeatedly defended itself against allegations of data transfers to the Chinese government.

It says its servers where user information is stored are located in the United States and Singapore.

The company has also said the ban is unnecessary since negotiations are underway to restructure the ownership of TikTok to address national security issues raised by the administration.

A tentative deal has been unveiled that would make Silicon Valley giant Oracle the technology partner for TikTok and a stakeholder in a new entity to be known as TikTok Global.

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