The TikTok ban is over. But that’s not quite the end of the story. The Biden administration issued an executive order rescinding the TikTok ban, which never took effect. But the order does contain an order to investigate apps under the jurisdiction of “foreign adversaries.”
TikTok (and WeChat) went through quite a rough year in 2020. At the time, President Trump expressed displeasure with the companies. That nearly led to Microsoft and then Oracle buying TikTok, but those talks fell through. In September, President Trump issued an executive order banning TikTok, WeChat, and several apps from app stores.
But the companies successfully challenged the executive orders in court, and the bans never took place. Now a new administration is in place, and it’s trying a new tact. A new executive order signed by President Biden states it will “…further address the ongoing national emergency declared in E.O. 13873 of May 15, 2019.”
It goes on to rescind the bans against TikTok, WeChat, and the apps. But it then directs the Department of Commerce to “evaluate foreign adversary connected software applications under the rules published to implement E.O. 13873 and take action, as appropriate.” The order proposes criteria to determine when software provides heightened risk to U.S. citizens’ data.
Given that the courts overturned the previous order, this new tact seems to look for a pathway to accomplish a similar goal and survive any subsequent lawsuits. How that will go remains to be seen.
Source: White House