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TikTok ban could violate First Amendment – EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has suggested banning the controversial social media app TikTok would violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Quite rightly, there is concern about the relationship between TikTok parent company ByteDance and the Chinese Government, but the EFF is suggesting US action to ban the app could be unconstitutional.

“Banning Americans from using the TikTok app would infringe the First Amendment rights of those users to express themselves online,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation said on its blog.

“Millions of users post protected speech to TikTok every day, choosing the app over other options for its features or for its audience. Courts will generally not uphold a categorical ban on speech.”

Both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump have suggested the administration is preparing a ban, though comments this weekend added more confusion. Trump suggested a Microsoft acquisition and a deposit of a few dollars in the Treasury bank account might change the thinking of the White House. An interesting was to run a democratic government, to say the least.

The EFF is hitting back at moves against TikTok, quoting a Supreme Court opinion which states restricting access to social media application is a violation of the First Amendment. Some have also suggested this aggressive action against TikTok is also driven by criticism of Trump on the platform, another big no-no when it comes to the First Amendment.

Interestingly enough, the EFF also suggests Apple and Google would have legal standing to challenge any ban to distribute the application through their app stores. To make it more complicated, the EFF is not entirely sure the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) even has the authority to ban applications.

What is quite clear is that the TikTok operations will face numerous administrative and regulatory hurdles while it is under current ownership. A Microsoft acquisition of operations in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia would perhaps ease the tension, but there would have to be a complete security overhaul to remove the shackles and reverse any reputational damage the White House is causing


6 comments

  1. Avatar #HogWash 05/08/2020 @ 2:04 pm

    Complete total bias article and published by nitwits who don’t care about the countries security. Very unamerican if you ask me. Lets allow China to spy on us all so we can pamper the rears of the spoiled brats who have to use Tik Tok. Sounds like there is a better opportunity for an American company to develop something that people can use in its place. There are always exceptions when the countries security is at risk. Why don’t you go over to China and be a citizen over there for awhile. Then comeback and tells us this same garbage. Nah, couldn’t leave your comfy ole United States could ya! Nice going!

  2. Avatar AJINDER SINGH 05/08/2020 @ 3:04 pm

    The world has to understand the Constitution is only for Democratic Nations and its Citizens. NON Democratic nation can not use the Constiution card.

  3. Avatar ladakhchina 05/08/2020 @ 4:52 pm

    is not fair.china never ban the usa tecnolgy.china govenment do nothing wrong and we have very open economic.douyin tik tok help the young people development.usa need stop the bad attitude and follow the correct path.

  4. Avatar Lola 07/08/2020 @ 9:19 pm

    “It is not fair. China government do nothing wrong” LOL Ok Commies

  5. Avatar Steven Benson 19/09/2020 @ 1:34 am

    There is no reasoning but only rationalizations to justify a ban. It seems like America is afraid of the Chinese economy overtaking America and they simply can not allow it. And making up any kind of excuses that has no sound basis, to justify their actions.

    If anyone is spying on America. It would be the US gov according to Snowden. Cisco keeps getting caught with backdoors while Huawei HAS never been found to have a backdoor in comparison.

    Similarly, there is no evidence that TikTok has done anything wrong but that don’t seem to matter anymore in an increasingly populist country.

  6. Avatar Steven Benson 19/09/2020 @ 1:37 am

    @lola

    China is not even communitst in practise. They’re more socialist. Know the difference.

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