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So Now We Needed Another Ridiculous Executive Order About TikTok That Goes Beyond The President's Authority?

from the come-on-now dept

A week after issuing his first ridiculous executive order about TikTok, barring any transactions involving the company if it is still owned by ByteDance, President Trump decided he needed to issue a second executive order about TikTok, this one more directly ordering ByteDance to sell it. The authority used in this one is different. The first one was using the IEEPA, which is what Trump has used to claim “national security” reasons for imposing tariffs on China without Congressional approval. This time he’s using 50 USC 4565, which allows the US treasury to block certain mergers, acquisitions and takeovers that might impact national security.

Except, here Trump is using that in reverse. ByteDance bought Musical.ly (and made it TikTok) two years ago. Trump didn’t raise a peep at the time. To turn around now, two years later, and pretend that he can order the deal unwound is just silly.

Even if you don’t trust ByteDance/TikTok, you should be absolutely concerned about this for multiple reasons: it’s a clear and blatant abuse of power by the President. Allowing any President to just declare a foreign-owned company a problem and try to force it to sell to an American company is going to cause all sorts of long-term problems for the US. What’s to stop foreign governments from doing the same to us? China is probably just itching to do something similar in retaliation. Second, to reach back two years and try to unwind a merger at this point based on this flimsy legal theory is just crazy as well. It’s clear that this is nothing more than vindictiveness on the part of the President.

If there are real security issues with TikTok, then there should be due process. There should be investigations and evidence. Not just a childish, narcissistic President suddenly declaring that an entire company must be sold.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: bytedance, tiktok

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Comments on “So Now We Needed Another Ridiculous Executive Order About TikTok That Goes Beyond The President's Authority?”

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
David says:

Re: Re:

Sorry to burst your bubble, but "Gröpenfuhrer" (replete with the absurd placement of tremata) was a term coined for Arnold Schwarzenegger by Trudeau in his editorial "Doonesbury" comic and visualized by an overdimensioned hand. In contrast, Trump is visualized by, well, a not particularly complimentary semi-realistic rendition. While that appears like sort of a break with Trudeau’s tradition of representing politicians, particularly presidents with symbols, in his defense he had to create an image for an already megalomaniac (though not yet politician) Donald Trump several decades before that.

Without wanting to insinuate that in terms of groping and ambition to become a "Führer" politically Trump would have to step in second line behind Schwarzenegger, I prefer to keep using the terminology established by "Doonesbury".

And frankly, "Donald Trump" should be enough of an insult.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Bloof (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And Obama had Republicans fighting tooth and nail to prevent him doing anything for most of that, using every 200 year old loophole they could find to block him undoing the damage left by Bush at every turn, while Trump had both houses for half of those four years, and basically used them push through tax cuts that would benefit him.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"I think Der Groppenfurher has broken Obama’s 8 years of EOs in just 4 years."

Moreover Obama at least used EO’s mainly because he couldn’t budge the republican majority in the house. Trump has that majority and still uses EO’s because even his loyal senators and congressmen won’t blindly vote aye to legislation of eminent domain.

What is really saddening is that in this EO Trump has, as some have noted, now provided american support for foreign nations nationalizing US businesses.

Tin-Foil-Hat says:

Re: What a coincidence...

I also think that incident is the impetus for these EOs.

I don’t think Trump is capable of planning or foresight. He only cares about his own immediate interests. He’s not a narcissist, he’s a sociopath.

Damage to the US technology industry, is only being considered, if at all, as a means of revenge for the rare occasions Twitter or Facebook punish his most egregious tos violations.

I’m hoping Trump gets voted out and congressmen who did the wrong thing in support, suffer the consequences. They are truly spineless.

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:


Ideally, executive orders should be used for emergency actions, not for authoritarian rule. That philosophy holds true no matter who signs the orders. Trump using them the way he does has (next-to-)nothing to do with his political affiliation and (damn near) everything to do with his blatant fascism.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Dear AC,
Do you know whats happening? REALLY?
Giving power back to the CORP mentality of the 1920’s?? Removing all the regs, that control how Corps can deal with People and UNIONS..??
The controls placed to Monitor Capitalism? Because it leads to even Worse?

HOw about say this another way? HOW much money are they getting to Forego WHAT WE PAY THEM??

Are you old enough to remember Why we installed pollution laws? And until they Make better ways to do things, WHY they should stay? Even Japan and the ROC and a few other nations have seen and Cut back or QUIT manufacturing. They like fish off the coast lines, NOT Mercury/lead/Cadmium laden..
Unless you Love living in a cesspit of Crap and Pollutants..Give it a rest.
As to Jobs, this is a real problem. But understand something Strange. THe USA and other countries have had JOB problem for over a century, and was Part of the problem that created the Civil war. But part of that, is HOW to make more money AT THE TOP.. Not to help the workers. cut, cut, cut. Just so they can have a better home then YOU.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"There is proof that TikTok does share data with the government and all the concerns for privacy are absolutely legit."

Well, yes, but that article is about TikTok sharing info with the US government, not China. If anything this is a case to be made about scaling down unwarranted mass surveillance by the US.

It’s still a moot point if TikTok did because last I checked similar, or even more intrusive information would be given to Chinese authorities by any travel agent and anyone buying from Alibaba or any tencent company. The same holds true for information given to US authorities, UK authorities, German authorities, Russian authorities, et cetera, using the same means.

The only takeaway from the Trump/TikTok mess is that Trump is upset a few teenagers managed to punk Trump from filling his tulsa rally and is now writing Executive Orders because his fragile ego broke over addressing a half-empty rally hall.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

sure, my point is that there is hard data about tiktok being cozy with government agencies in the US, giving away user data without warning its users about it. This supports the (so far undocumented but highly probable) assumption that tiktok is doing the same (or worse) in China.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

There are apps out there that leak data, and apps that do not, like Telegram, which because of its unwillingness to cooperate has already been banned in Russia. Titkok is clearly and documentably in the side of the leaking apps. The fact that these violations have been proven in the US first is just incidental, it could well have been a Chinese leak. The point remains, titkok is an app that gives away its users data without notifying them.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"This supports the (so far undocumented but highly probable) assumption that tiktok is doing the same (or worse) in China."

…well, yes, but all that really amounts to is that any TikTok user has clicked "yes" on the ToS effectively stating "we will leak any personal information our client app can lift from you and sell or share it with any askers without question".

This is bad, but doesn’t put TikTok in more of a crook role than oh so many other apps on the market. What they do is strictly legal even if it’s a scummy way to go about it. The whole China argument makes as much sense as if you’d try to close down MacDonalds because Xi Jin Ping had been seen chowing down on a Big Mac.

…and that leads us right back to the entitled man-child in the white house who has now written two executive orders to punish a fully legal social platform mainly dealing in teenager meme gifs because they were used to punk him over the Tulsa rally.

The ONLY takeaway here is that Trump’s ego is made of pre-fractured carnival glass and his sense of proportion is missing, presumed dead.

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