What is it about?

A year ago, President Trump banned TikTok, a Chinese-owned social media app. But a year later, TikTok is the most downloaded app in the world, and it is President Trump that is now gone from the national scene, indeed banned from social media. What happened? This paper explains how courts rescued TikTok, eager to protect citizens' access to information tools. I note that President Trump’s TikTok ban represented a major departure from a quarter-century of U.S. support for a global internet. I then argue that the national security claims against TikTok proved overblown. I conclude by drawing lessons for media control in the context of national security.

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Why is it important?

Why did federal judges side with TikTok rather than President Donald Trump in the battle between Trump and TikTok? I argue that federal judges sided with TikTok because they wanted to protect an important communications channel.

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This page is a summary of: Protecting the global internet from technology cold wars, Communications of the ACM, September 2021, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), DOI: 10.1145/3473606.
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