TikTok has filed a lawsuit against the US government in an attempt to prevent the enforcement of a law that may lead to the banning of the popular social media platform.

TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, have initiated legal action against the US government regarding a law that mandates the sale of the popular video-sharing app or its potential banning, citing concerns over national security and First Amendment rights.

The anticipated lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, sets the stage for a prolonged legal battle over TikTok’s future in the United States, with the possibility of escalation to the Supreme Court. TikTok warns that if it loses, the platform may be compelled to cease operations next year.

The company contends that the law, signed by President Joe Biden as part of a broader foreign aid package, is blatantly unconstitutional. It argues that the legislation, framed as a regulatory measure on TikTok’s ownership rather than an outright ban, undermines freedom of speech and expression.

This marks the first instance of the US government targeting a social media platform for potential prohibition, a move typically associated with authoritarian regimes such as Iran or China, according to free speech advocates.

In its lawsuit filed in a federal appeals court in Washington DC, ByteDance asserts, “Congress has taken the unprecedented step of expressly singling out and banning TikTok: a vibrant online forum for protected speech and expression used by 170 million Americans to create, share, and view videos over the Internet.”

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