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TikTok sues US government to stop potential ban

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TikTok sues US government to stop potential ban

TikTok sued the US federal government on Tuesday. arguing that the potential ban on the app violates the First Amendment.

Last month, President Biden signed a bill forcing TikTok and its Chinese owner, Bytedance, to divest ownership of the app or face a nationwide ban. At the time, TikTok said it planned to file a lawsuit, calling the law unconstitutional.

In the lawsuit, TikTok says the law violates the First Amendment and that the divestment requirement is “simply not possible.”

“If Congress can do this, it can circumvent the First Amendment by invoking national security and ordering the publisher of any individual newspaper or website it sells to prevent its closure,” the lawsuit says. “And for TikTok, any such divestment would disconnect Americans from the rest of the global community on a platform dedicated to content sharing, an outcome fundamentally at odds with the Constitution’s commitment to both free speech and individual liberty.”

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

In response to the law’s enactment last month, a TikTok spokesperson told WIRED. “This unconstitutional law is a ban on TikTok and we will challenge it in court. We believe that 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 American data secure and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation.”

First Amendment lawyers have suggested that TikTok has a strong case. Without solid evidence to support the government’s claims that TikTok is a threat to national security, a court could determine that a ban would go too far and could cause the company irreparable harm. Others have suggested that a strict data security and privacy law could protect American users’ data better than an outright ban.

“TikTok’s challenge to the ban is important and we hope it is successful,” Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, said in a statement Tuesday. “The First Amendment means that the government cannot restrict Americans’ access to foreign ideas, information, or media without a very good reason, and no such reason exists here.”

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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