TikTok sues U.S. over potential ban | WORLD
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

TikTok sues U.S. over potential ban

The TikTok logo is displayed on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. The Associated Press/Photo by Michael Dwyer, File

TikTok sues U.S. over potential ban

Social media giant TikTok announced Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit asking a federal appeals court to review the constitutionality of a law that could eventually ban the social media app in the United States.

What does the law do? President Joe Biden signed the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversaries Act into law on April 24 as part of a sweeping foreign aid package. The law doesn’t ban TikTok outright, but it does lay out a path to do so if Chinese parent company ByteDance doesn’t sell the video-sharing app within nine months. The law gives ByteDance an additional three months if a sale is in progress.

What does TikTok say in its lawsuit? TikTok, along with parent company ByteDance, calls the law unprecedented, as well as a violation of the First Amendment. The suit also claims the law is an unconstitutional bill of attainder. It violates the principles of equal protection and due process because it illegally singles out TikTok and ByteDance for legislative punishment. Additionally, the companies accuse the U.S. government of attempting to seize property without just compensation, violating the Fifth Amendment. The lawsuit goes on to say that the divestiture required by the U.S. government is not feasible commercially, technologically, or legally. TikTok is asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment determining that the law is unconstitutional and blocking Attorney General Merrick Garland from enforcing it.

Why is the U.S. government threatening to ban TikTok? TikTok has been the target of bipartisan criticism partly due to Chinese ownership of parent company ByteDance. Lawmakers say the Chinese government can use the app to collect vast amounts of data from everyday Americans. They say the Chinese Communist Party could use the app “to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.” A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry denies the allegations.

Dig deeper: Read Leo Briceno’s report in The Stew on how legislators must weigh free speech against national security in the debate over TikTok.

Travis K. Kircher

Travis is the associate breaking news editor for WORLD.

An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...