TikTok Files Opening Brief in Its US Government Lawsuit

TikTok Files Appeal on Ban in Federal Court
tiktok opening brief Adobe/gesrey Adobe/Maciej Koba Adobe/chrupka

When the divest-or-sell law was made official, TikTok made it clear that it wasn’t going down without a fight. And now, its war with the US government has turned official. The company has filed its opening brief in federal court, and if we’re being honest, it’s pretty juicy.

What does TikTok’s opening brief say?

In the 99-page document, ByteDance and TikTok claim that the divestiture the US government wants is “not possible technologically, commercially, or legally.”

They warn that a ban on TikTok would be the ultimate outcome because of the position the government has purportedly put them in. They also claim that amid the government trying to force them to sell, they’re violating the First Amendment rights of not just the app, but its 170 million US users. 

“This law is a radical departure from this country’s tradition of championing an open internet and sets a dangerous precedent allowing the political branches to target a disfavoured speech platform and force it to sell or be shut down,” ByteDance and TikTok say. 

“This administration has determined that it prefers to try to shut down TikTok in the United States and eliminate a platform of speech for 170 million Americans, rather than continue to work on a practical, feasible, and effective solution to protect US users through an enforceable agreement.”

Other revelations in the document include the fact that securing US TikTok users’ data cost the company $2 billion, and that TikTok offered the US government a “kill switch.” This would have allowed the government to suspend the app if it failed to meet national security standards.

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