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TikTok Sues U.S. Government Over New Law Banning App

On Tuesday, the Chinese social media app TikTok and its parent company filed a lawsuit against the federal government of the United States over a new law threatening to ban the app if it is not sold to another company by next year.

ABC News reports that the lawsuit, filed by TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance, claims the new law is a violation of the First Amendment rights of TikTok’s users. The bill was signed into law by Joe Biden last month, with the TikTok ban being one provision of a larger $95 billion foreign aid package. The law requires ByteDance to sell TikTok within 9 months, or else the app will be banned from use in the United States.

“For the first time in history, Congress has enacted a law that subjects a single, named speech platform to a permanent, nationwide ban, and bars every American from participating in a unique online community with more than 1 billion people worldwide,” the company complained in its petition filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

TikTok has faced bipartisan criticism in recent years, with Democrats being concerned over threats to users’ private information, while Republicans have called out the national security threat of a Chinese-owned app becoming so popular in the U.S. TikTok attempted to refute both concerns in its lawsuit.

“Congress itself has offered nothing to suggest that the TikTok platform poses the types of risks to data security or the spread of foreign propaganda that could conceivably justify the act,” the lawsuit reads. The company also claims that it is not “commercially, technologically, or legally” possible to even make the sale.

The lawsuit demands that the court rule the new law to be unconstitutional, and thus forbid Attorney General Merrick Garland from enforcing it.

Although TikTok users have obsessively campaigned against the ban, polls show that most Americans support the new law. An ABC poll shows that 53% of Americans support banning TikTok if it is not sold to a non-Chinese company, compared to 44% who oppose it; the same poll shows that 51% believe the government should try to force the sale, with 46% against it.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto