TikTok is suing the US in effort to overturn 'unconstitutional' ban on the app

The video platform app says that the "Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act" violates the First Amendment.
The TikTok logo
Posted at 2:41 PM, May 07, 2024

TikTok is officially suing the U.S. government in an effort to overturn what its parent company, ByteDance, says is an “unconstitutional” ban on the app.

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit contends that the "Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act" violates the First Amendment.

“Congress has taken the unprecedented step of expressly singling out and banning TikTok: a vibrant online forum for protected speech and expression used by 170 million Americans to create, share, and view videos over the Internet,” the suit reads. “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.”

This lawsuit came as no surprise, as it was widely anticipated.

On April 24, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan foreign aid package containing $95 billion for Ukraine and Israel. However, hidden within the bill was a demand for ByteDance, the Chinese company behind TikTok, to sell the video-platform app within nine months or face a ban in the U.S.

That same day, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Chew, took to the app to tell the millions of TikTok users that they would continue to fight for the platform.

“Rest assured; we aren't going anywhere. We are confident, and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts,” said Chew, adding that this effort to ban the app by the U.S. government is “ironic because the freedom of expression on TikTok reflects the same American values that make the United States a beacon of freedom.”

The lawsuit claims that under the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, TikTok will have to shut down by Jan. 19, 2025.

Lawmakers from both sides back the act, saying the app risks American data falling into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, potentially for harmful purposes against the United States.