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TikTok Requests Expedited Court Review to Decide on App Ban by December

TikTok Requests Expedited Court Review to Decide on App Ban by December

May 17, 2024

TikTok Requests Expedited Court Review to Decide on App Ban by December

The U.S. Justice Department and the popular social media platform TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, have jointly requested an expedited review of legal challenges against a new law that mandates the divestiture of TikTok's U.S. operations. The request was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday.

The law in question sets a deadline of January 19 for ByteDance to sell off TikTok's American assets or face a potential ban of the app in the United States. The legislation, signed by President Joe Biden on April 24, cites national security concerns over Chinese ownership of the app, which boasts approximately 170 million American users.

In a concerted effort to resolve the legal dispute swiftly, TikTok, ByteDance, and a coalition of TikTok content creators have aligned with the Justice Department to seek a court decision by December 6. This would allow sufficient time to appeal to the Supreme Court ahead of the January deadline, should it be necessary.

A lawsuit filed last week by TikTok and ByteDance claims that the law violates the U.S. Constitution on several fronts, including infringement of First Amendment rights to free speech. In a separate legal action on Tuesday, a group of TikTok creators challenged the law.

Both the Justice Department and TikTok contend that "the public at large has a significant interest in the prompt disposition of this matter." TikTok has expressed confidence that a fast-track schedule will enable a resolution without the need to seek emergency preliminary injunctive relief.

The White House has made it clear that while it is pushing for an end to Chinese-based ownership of TikTok on national security grounds, it is not advocating for an outright ban of the app.

In their petition, the parties have urged the court to schedule oral arguments at the earliest opportunity during the September case calendar. The Justice Department has also indicated the possibility of presenting classified material to the court in secret to substantiate national security justifications for the law.

The recent law prohibits app stores, including those operated by Apple and Google, from offering TikTok, and bars internet hosting services from supporting the app unless ByteDance divests it. The measure was quickly passed by Congress due to widespread concerns among U.S. lawmakers about the potential for the Chinese government to access data on Americans or conduct surveillance through the app.

Reuters Article


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