TikTok Files Lawsuit Over New Law

TikTok Files Lawsuit Over Biden Admin Ultimatum

(USNewsBreak.com) – TikTok’s fate and whether it threatens personal and national security has caused significant controversy both recently and for years. While former President Donald Trump was in office, he tried outright to ban the app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance. His efforts failed. Then, states and the federal government took steps to ban the platform on government-issued devices. Recently, Congress has passed a bill mandating ByteDance to divest its interest in the app or face a nationwide ban. As a result, TikTok is suing the Biden Administration.

Potential TikTok Ban

In April, the House of Representatives passed a bill mandating TikTok’s China-based owner sell off its stake in the platform as part of a foreign aid package. If it refuses, as it has so far, the law could ban the app nationwide. Web-hosting providers and app stores could no longer offer or support the app, effectively blocking it from US users.

The measure passed the lower chamber in a 360 to 58 vote on April 20. Three days later, the Senate also passed the bill by a 79 to 18 margin. President Joe Biden signed off on it shortly thereafter. The measure passed despite TikTok lobbying against the legislation and its push notifications sent to 170 million users in the United States asking for their help.

Lawmakers say the main concern with the app is that American data isn’t safe from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As a Chinese-owned company, ByteDance must comply should the CCP request the data. Congress members worry the CCP could use TikTok’s data to spy on Americans or to influence voters by pushing misinformation.

TikTok Lawsuit

Several Americans are also stakeholders in TikTok. ByteDance and TikTok filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice in response to the new law. Attorneys for TikTok filed the petition on Tuesday, May 7, in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The company is suing to prevent Garland from enforcing the ban should it come to fruition.

In its filing, the company said Congress gave it no real choice despite legislation offering a choice between divesting and a ban. “There is no question: the Act will force a shutdown of TikTok by January 19, 2025, silencing the 170 million Americans who use” the app. ByteDance also disclosed that China does not wish to sell the technology behind the app that makes it so successful — the recommendation engine.

One lawmaker, Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI), said TikTok is making its intentions clear in “spend[ing] its time, money, and effort fighting in court than solving the problem by breaking up with the CCP.”

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