TikTok Accuses Biden Administration of 'Political Demagoguery' Amid Negotiations

By Madz Dizon

Jun 20, 2024 09:08 PM EDT

TikTok Accuses Biden Administration of 'Political Demagoguery' Amid Negotiations
This photo illustration shows the TikTok logo reflected in an image of the US flag, in Washington, DC, on March 16, 2023. - China urged the United States to stop "unreasonably suppressing" TikTok on March 16, 2023.
(Photo : STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

TikTok recently disclosed information about its private discussions with high-ranking government officials to address concerns regarding its Chinese ownership.

These meetings were held as a response to a new law that could potentially result in the app being banned in the United States. 

TikTok-Biden Administration Negotiations

TikTok revealed a letter on Thursday (June 20), alleging that the Biden administration resorted to "political demagoguery" during crucial negotiations with the company.

According to AP News, a letter was sent to David Newman, a high-ranking official in the Justice Department's national security division, prior to President Biden signing the potential TikTok ban into law.

This letter was submitted in federal court, along with a legal brief that supports the company's lawsuit against the measure.

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is involved in a lawsuit that is anticipated to become a significant legal battle in the realm of technology and the internet.

The internal documents reveal the intricate negotiations that took place between TikTok and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a panel known for its discreet investigations into corporate deals with potential national security implications.

These negotiations spanned from January 2021 to August 2022.

TikTok has announced that the discussions led to the creation of a comprehensive 90-page security agreement.

This agreement would have mandated the implementation of stronger measures to protect the data of its US users.

In addition, TikTok would have been obligated to implement a "kill switch" that would grant the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) the ability to temporarily halt the platform in the event of non-compliance with the agreement.

Nevertheless, TikTok's attorneys claim that the agency halted any meaningful negotiations with the company once the draft agreement was submitted in August 2022.

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Project Texas

Included in the new documents is a comprehensive 90-page proposal from TikTok, outlining its strategies to alleviate concerns raised by American national security officials. These concerns primarily revolve around the potential for the Chinese government to exploit the app for propaganda dissemination or the collection of sensitive user data.

The TikTok proposal, known as Project Texas, was never approved by the Biden administration, despite extensive discussions with the company.

TikTok has recently made public a letter that outlines the dates and specifics of various meetings held last year with CFIUS, a panel known for its secrecy.

According to the documents, there were ongoing discussions between TikTok's legal team and the Biden administration regarding the possibility of a sale and the potential relocation of the company's coding from China.

During the presentation, it highlighted the stark contrast between the stances of the US government and the Chinese government, which created a challenging situation for the company.

According to the documents, the most recent face-to-face meeting between TikTok and CFIUS took place in September. There was a detailed discussion about the difficulties of transferring coding from China. The company stated that it had received minimal communication from the administration following that, the New York Times reported.

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