TikTok sues the US Government for the law that requires its sale to avoid the ban | International

TikTok sues the US Government for the law that requires its sale to avoid the ban | International
TikTok sues the US Government for the law that requires its sale to avoid the ban | International

The short video platform TikTok, and its parent company, the Chinese company ByteDance, filed a lawsuit that Tuesday against the US Department of Justice to paralyze the law that forces the parent company to sell its app, which would otherwise be banned in American territory.

The lawsuit, which TikTok has filed in the Washington Circuit Court of Appeals and has been expected since the measure was enacted two weeks ago, alleges that the law is partially unconstitutional. According to the company, the measure perpetrates an “unprecedented violation” of freedom of expression, protected in the first amendment of the Constitution. “For the first time in history, Congress has approved a law that subjects a single platform, mentioned by name, to a permanent ban throughout the national territory,” the app maintains. The new law also “prohibits every American from participating in a single Internet community made up of more than one billion people worldwide,” according to the company.

The platform also maintains that the sale required by the new law “is simply not possible.” “Neither commercial, nor technological, nor legally.”

The law argues national security to justify the need for the app, used by more than 75 million Americans according to the company’s data, to be transferred to other owners or closed. TikTok replies that this is not a sufficient reason to restrict the right to freedom of expression, and that the Government has not demonstrated that such a restriction is necessary.

The United States Government assures that the law is not intended to force the closure of the application, but rather its sale, to protect the use that the owners of the platform can make of the data of millions of its citizens. “What we are focused on when applying this law now is working toward divestment in a manner consistent with the intent of the law and the national security concerns that led to its passage,” said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, in a press conference immediately after the measure was enacted.

The new law gives ByteDance nine months to get rid of its most popular creation in the West. The president of the United States, Joe Biden, can add an extension of three more months, up to a year, if he believes that sufficient progress has been made. But the lawsuit halts that countdown and resets the clock to zero until the dispute is resolved.

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Among the concerns of legislators are complaints about the addictive behavior that the app cause among its users, especially among adolescents, and its supposed harmful effects on mental health. But, also, the one that is Chinese owned. Critics of TikTok denounce that the Chinese government could easily obtain the data of the millions of American users who have downloaded the application. Or be used for the dissemination of propaganda, false information or some other type of covert influence.

The US government has not publicly presented evidence showing that the Chinese government was able to access the data of US citizens held by TikTok. Parliamentarians in the Capitol have received briefings behind closed doors.

TikTok replies that it has introduced control mechanisms on its platform so that parents can feel calm about their children’s use of it. He also denies allowing the Chinese government access to US data, and maintains that the ban would violate the right to freedom of expression.

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