The widely popular social media app Tiktok, and its parent company ByteDance filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department of Biden administration recently. A new law demands the platform to sever ties with its China-based owner within a year. Failure to comply could result in effective banning from the United States.

The petition landed in federal court in Washington, DC. It alleges that the measure signed into law by President Biden last month is unconstitutional. It argues that it violates the First Amendment rights of its users in the United States. This is because it effectively shuts down their access to the popular forum. The petition calls for the court to block Attorney General Merrick Garland from enforcing the measure. The petition found its way to the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The suit targeted Garland. It names Tiktok and Beijing-based ByteDance as plaintiffs.
Last month, the foreign aid package passed by Congress. It included a provision that required ByteDance to sell its stake in Tiktok within a year. Tiktok would lose access to app stores and web-hosting providers if the company fails to meet hat one-year deadline. This effectively cuts it of to the roughly 170 million users in the United States.
TikTok countered in its filing that lawmakers framed the measure as a choice between divestiture or a ban. The Act will compel TikTok to shut down by January 19, 2025. This would mute the voices of 170 million Americans who rely on the platform for irreplaceable communication channels.
According to the company, the divestiture required by the law within a 270-day timeline is subject to a 90-day extension by the president. It is simply not possible. The Chinese government’s opposition to selling the technology was also emphasized. This technology, particularly its recommendation engine, has played a significant role in making TikTok wildly popular in the United States.