On Sunday, September 20th, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against President Donald Trump’s executive order that banned WeChat and TikTok from operating in the U.S. Trump signed the executive order on August 6th, citing national security concerns that the Chinese-owned messaging app and the video app were collecting data on Americans.
The lawsuits, filed by WeChat users and the company Tiktok, claim the executive orders violate the First and Fifth Amendment, and that the law is unconstitutionally overbroad. Both lawsuits are asking for declaratory relief, as well as a preliminary and permanent injunction barring the president from enforcing the orders.
The order prohibits American companies from doing business with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, a move experts say would eventually prevent Americans from using the app. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University warned the White House’s efforts to cut ties with Chinese social media companies violate the First Amendment rights of U.S. users.