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.

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Filed Under: china, donald trump, due process, executive order, merger review, retaliation
Companies: bytedance, tiktok


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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 17 Aug 2020 @ 9:42am

    legislation by Sharpie. And this asshat complained about Obama using EOs too much. I think Der Groppenfurher has broken Obama's 8 years of EOs in just 4 years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:28am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 11:06am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 1:50am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 9:57am

    What a coincidence...

    Funny how the company only became a massive national security concern worthy of not one but two(so far) blatant abuses of power in the form of EO's after a bunch of kids used it to punk him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Tin-Foil-Hat, 17 Aug 2020 @ 11:46pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ian W (profile), 23 Aug 2020 @ 2:53pm

      Re: What a coincidence...

      Damn kids ... They did not think this one through.

      Ythey should have used Twitter, not TikTok. Then Trump could do us all a favour and use an EO to ban Twitter. Some really narcissist Twiiter user is really punkng the reat of us. Maybe next time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:19am

    Funny how left wingers only think executive orders bad when it's not a left winger issuing them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:26am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 11:27am

        Re:

        Ideally, executive orders should be used for emergency actions, not for authoritarian rule.

        Executive orders (correct ones anyway) are just the president directing the executive branch to do something. There's no reason they should be reserved for emergencies.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:27am

      'Curse those fictional 'left wingers' in my head!'

      Please be considerate to other posters and clean up your strawman after you're done with it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      Funny how bullshit claims are never accompanied by supporting data.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      Funny how right wingers only think executive orders bad when it's not a white president issuing them.

      FTFY

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re:

        Nah, while I'm sure that didn't help for a number of them I imagine they'd just just as against a white president issuing EO's so long as said president wasn't on their team.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 12:52pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:24am

    Don't understand where and how President Executive orders became law? Aren't these meant to be guidance for agencies?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:25am

    If Tiktok want to get out of this, maybe they should offer to sell users personal information to Palantir. Trump will stop caring about shady crap the moment someone in his orbit lines their pockets and gives him a kickback.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Coffee U, 17 Aug 2020 @ 10:43am

      I wish I was voting +1 lol

      but it's more lolsob, because that's likely too true.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2020 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      There is proof that TikTok does share data with the government and all the concerns for privacy are absolutely legit. The article is about the data that TikTok shared with the US police agencies during the George Flyod protests: https://theintercept.com/2020/08/10/blueleaks-tiktok-law-enforcement-privacy/

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bloof (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 1:08pm

        Re: Re:

        But not the privacy concerns that are being used to justify trying to steal it from a foreign company.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 1:14pm

        Re: Re:

        ... do you seriously think that Trump would be freaking out over the company sharing data with US law enforcement?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 2:19am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 5:13am

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 5:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Which of those governments can target you for you political opinions? Hint, it is the same on that will still have access to your data after any forced sale.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2020 @ 6:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Aug 2020 @ 1:35am

            Re: Re: Re: 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.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ArturK (profile), 18 Aug 2020 @ 3:49am

    Anyway, TikTok is a trash...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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