TikTok is Suing the US Government, claiming that the ban violates the Constitution

TikTok filed a lawsuit against the US government to stop implementing the bill that was issued last month with the aim of forcing the Chinese company that owns the application to sell its stake or ban the application in the United States, according to NBC News.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the US Court of Appeals in Washington, states that the bill, which is a law protecting Americans from foreign applications controlled by their adversaries, violates the protections for freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution.

The lawsuit describes this law as an “uncharacteristic violation” of Article 1 of the US Constitution.

TikTok stated in the lawsuit, “For the first time in history, Congress has enacted a law that subjects one platform for expressing opinion to a permanent nationwide ban, preventing every American from participating in a unique online community that includes more than a billion people around the world.”

The company argues that citing national security concerns is not a sufficient reason to restrict freedom of expression, and that the burden falls on the federal government to prove that the ban is justified, and the lawsuit states that the federal government has not met that responsibility.

This anticipated lawsuit follows the bill signed by US President Joe Biden on April 24, likely prolonging the timeline for a potential ban or sale of the app in the United States.


ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the app, had more than a year to make the decision, and now these legal actions will pause that timeline, meaning it could take years before the decision to ban the app takes effect.

Since 2020, both the Trump and Biden administrations have persisted in efforts to curb the widespread use of TikTok. The federal government, alongside numerous states, has prohibited TikTok on devices owned by the government.

American politicians, both Republican and Democratic, and some national security personnel fear TikTok’s collection of American user data, as well as how the app’s video recommendation algorithm works.

Industry experts have approached these claims with skepticism, pointing out that the lack of data protection laws in the United States places TikTok on the same footing as other apps. They also emphasize that accusations of efforts to sway American public opinion lack conclusive proof.

However, TikTok has made some efforts to reassure the public and US officials that it takes data security seriously. In 2022, the company began “Project Texas,” a move aimed at providing data protection and transparency about the information the app collects about American users. But this did not achieve much to allay the US authorities’ concerns about the application and the extent of the Chinese government’s control over it.

The lawsuit states that Congress did not provide any evidence indicating that the TikTok application poses any type of risk related to data security or the spread of Chinese propaganda that might justify the bill, and it also failed to prove that the application poses any specific harm in those aspects.

The lawsuit also states that this law is tantamount to a de facto ban on the TikTok application, and that the option of ByteDance liquidating its stake is an “illusory” option because it is not commercially, technologically, or legally feasible, especially within the 270-day period set by the law.

The lawsuit indicated that if the law remains in force, it will allow the federal government to use national security and force the owners of other platforms, including news sites, to sell or shut down.


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