[ONLINE] - Free Speech Project: Unpacking the WeChat/TikTok Bans

A Win for National Security or a Loss for Free Speech?

Within the last month, two highly popular Chinese-owned social media apps—TikTok and WeChat—were put on the Trump administration’s chopping block. In twin August 6 executive orders, President Trump set in motion a 45-day process expected to lead to their ban from U.S.-accessed app stores—based on an assertion of an “unusual and extraordinary” national security threat. Over the weekend, the president indicated the TikTok threat has been averted by a deal that will transfer a 20% ownership stake in the company to Oracle and Walmart (yet leaving China-based owners in significant control), while a federal judge enjoined the WeChat order, based largely on First Amendment grounds.

Join Future Tense's Free Speech Project (our collaboration with the Tech, Law & Security program at American University's Washington College of Law) to consider whether the administration's move against these platforms was an undue intrusion on free speech or a legitimate action on national security grounds, as well as its broader implications for the U.S-China relationship.


David Gossett, @davidgossett
Partner, Technology, Privacy & Security Group, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
(litigator in the WeChat lawsuit)

Jennifer Daskal, @jendaskal
Professor and Faculty Director, Tech, Law, & Security Program at American University Washington College of Law

James Mulvenon, @jmulvenon
Director of Intelligence Integration, SOS International


Samm Sacks, @SammSacks
Cyber Policy Fellow, New America
Senior Fellow, Yale Law School's Paul Tsai China Center

Follow the conversation online using #TikTikBlock and by following @FutureTenseNow. The Free Speech Project is in partnership with the Tech, Law & Security Program at American University Washington College of Law:

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