Monday, May 27, 2024
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TikTok Sues US Government, Calling Ban Legislation ‘Unconstitutional’

TikTok officially sued the United States government on Tuesday in an effort to block a new law that requires the app to be sold or face a ban in the country.
The lawsuit comes as little surprise, with TikTok saying it would do as much when President Joe Biden signed the legislation last month. The law, which was wrapped in a larger bill that also sent foreign aid to Israel and Ukraine, soared through the House and Senate within days before Biden signed the day after its passage in the Senate.
“This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court,” TikTok promised in a statement posted to X the day Biden signed the bill. “We believe the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail. The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation. This ban would devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans. As we continue to challenge this unconstitutional ban, we will continue investing and innovating to ensure TikTok remains a space where Americans of all walks of life can safely come to share their experiences, find joy, and be inspired.”
Tuesday, TikTok called the ban “unconstitutional” in a new X post announcing its petition against the U.S. government.
Today we filed a petition in federal court seeking to overturn the unconstitutional TikTok ban. Read our petition here: — TikTok Policy (@TikTokPolicy) May 7, 2024
“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 petition reads.
“Banning TikTok is so obviously unconstitutional, in fact, that even the Act’s sponsors recognized that reality, and therefore have tried mightily to depict the law not as a ban at all, but merely a regulation of TikTok’s ownership,” it continues.
TikTok’s challenge to the law further states that divestment from ByteDance is impossible. The company explains that there are insurmountable commercial, technological, and legal hurdles to divestment within the 270 days required by the Act.
The social media company also claims it has explained this to the U.S. government “repeatedly,” and that those who sponsored and passed the bill were “aware” that divestment was impossible per the terms of the legislation.
TikTok’s formal lawsuit names United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland as the respondent. The lawsuit has been filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. TikTok has made the complete 70-page document available to all.
The reason for the sell-or-get-banned ultimatum against TikTok has been largely attributed to security concerns. TikTok is owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, and critics of the app say it poses a security concern for that reason.
Image credits: Header photo created using assets licensed via Depositphotos.



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