La UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 27.09.2020, Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-02658(CJN), Tiktok e altri c. Trump e altri, in via cautelare ha concesso l’inibitoria del provedimento “soppressivo” di Tiktok emesso nell’estate 2020 dal presidente Trump (notizia sempre presa dal blog di Eric Goldman).
Il Presidente con executive order (EO) 6 agosto 2020 n. 13942, sulla base di precedente EO 13873 dell’anno prima, e dei poteri conferiti dall’International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”),50 US Code §§ 1701-1708, bannò Tiktok (di proprietà cinese) sulla base di questi rischi alla sicurezza nazionale:
<<The President determined that TikTok “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including internet and other network activity information such aslocation data and browsing and search histories.” … The President concluded that TikTok’s foreign ownership and data collection pose a risk thatthe Chinese CommunistParty (“CCP”) can “access …Americans’ personal and proprietary information—potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.” … He also concluded that there is a risk of the CCP using TikTok to “censorcontent that the[CCP] deems politically sensitive,” id., and “for disinformation campaigns that benefit the [CCP], such as when TikTok videos spread debunked conspiracy theories about the origins of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.>>.
Seguì l’atto amministrativo del Segretario della difesa., determinativo degli atti specificamente vietati. Si tratta di cinque atti ricordati nella decisione, il primo dei quali sarebbe dovuto etrare in vigore il giorno stesso della decisione alle ore 11.59 p.m. (p. 2).
Tik Tok impugnò, chiedendo di sospendere la misura in via cautelare. Allo scopo doveva dimostrare che << (1) it has a likelihood of succeeding on the merits, (2) it faces irreparable harm if an injunction does not issue,(3) the balance of equities favors relief, and (4) an injunction is in the public interest>>.
Vediamo cosa dice il giudice sul punto 1.
Detto IEEPA contiene sì i poteri per dichiarare emergenze nazionali e proibire rapporti con l’estero, ma sottoposti a due limiti:
<<the “authority granted to the President…does not include the authority to regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly” either
(a) the importation or exportation of “information or informational materials”; or
(b) “personal communication[s], which do  not involve a transfer of anything of value.” 50 U.S.C. §1702(b)(1), (3)>>
Il giudice californiano ritiene che Tiktok concerna informational materials, pp. 9-13.,
Egli ritiene pure che vengano così inibite le personal communications. Secondo l”azienza <the prohibitions “will destroy this online community, first by requiring the removal of TikTok from … U.S. app stores, and, when the remaining Prohibitions come into effect on November 12, 2020, shutting down TikTok entirely.” >, p. 13.
Ha buon gioco il governo nel dire che vi circolano notizie commerciali : è vero, solo che ve ne sono anche un enormità di natura solo privata con no economic value at all, p. 13.
Si noti che quanto al fumus boni iuris è quello appena esposto il ragionamento che sorregge la decisione: non viene invece applicata la freedom of speech protetta dal Primo Emendamento
Quanto al requisito sub 2 (irreparable harm), secondo il giudice l’azienda l’ha provato., In particolare <Plaintiffs have demonstrated that, absent injunctive relief, they will suffer irreparable harm. It is undisputed that as of the date of the TikTok Order, TikTok was one of the fastest growing apps in the United States, adding 424,000 new users each day. … Barring TikTok from U.S. app stores would, of course, have the immediate and direct effect of halting the influx of new users, likely driving those users to alternative platforms and eroding TikTok’s competitive position. Id. In fact, TikTok has proffered unrebutted evidence that uncertainty in TikTok’s future availability has already driven, and will continue to drive, content creators and fans to other platforms. … The nature of social media is also such that users are unlikely to return to platforms that they have abandoned. See id.Thus, if the first prohibition were to take effect tonight but was later held to be unlawful, TikTok would not be able to recover the harm to its user base. … Plaintiffs have also proffered evidence that they have been harmed, and will continue to be harmed, by the erosion of TikTok’s attractiveness as a commercial partner. ….. TikTok’s business relies on commercial partners and advertisers that work with it because of its robust user base and popularity as a video-and information-sharing platform. .. .Finally, TikTok has shown that, in the absence of injunctive relief, it will be unable to recruit and retain employees to build—or even maintain—its business. … The Secretary’s prohibitions, including the prohibitionsscheduled to take effect tonight, will inflict irreparable economic and reputationalharm on Plaintiffs. This factor therefore weighs in favor of granting preliminary relief.>
Così il giudice ha concesso l’injunction