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US and TikTok Seek Swift Legal Resolution on Potential Ban by December 6

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The US Justice Department and TikTok have jointly requested a fast-track schedule from a US appeals court to address legal challenges to a new law mandating that ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, divest its US assets by January 19 or face a ban. This expedited timeline aims for a ruling by December 6, allowing sufficient time for a potential Supreme Court review if necessary.

This collaborative request was submitted to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. It underscores the urgency and significant public interest due to TikTok’s vast user base of 170 million Americans. Both TikTok and the Justice Department emphasize the need for a prompt resolution, highlighting the substantial impact on American life and the importance of addressing national security concerns swiftly.

Earlier this week, a group of TikTok content creators filed a lawsuit to block the law, arguing it profoundly affects American users. TikTok and ByteDance also initiated a legal challenge last week, contending the law violates the US Constitution, including First Amendment free speech protections. They assert that the measure infringes on constitutional rights and that a fast-track schedule would allow the issue to be resolved without needing emergency preliminary relief.

The law, signed by President Joe Biden on April 24, requires ByteDance to divest TikTok by January 19 to avoid a ban, aiming to eliminate Chinese-based ownership on national security grounds. The White House supports the divestment to address security concerns but prefers avoiding an outright ban on the app.

The Justice Department, in support of the law, stated it addresses critical national security issues while being consistent with the First Amendment and other constitutional limits. The department also mentioned it might submit classified material to the court to bolster its national security justification.

The new law prohibits app stores like Apple’s and Google’s from offering TikTok and bars internet hosting services from supporting the app unless ByteDance divests TikTok. Concerns among US lawmakers about potential Chinese access to American data and espionage risks prompted the swift congressional passage of the measure.

As the legal proceedings advance, the requested fast-track schedule seeks to ensure that any required actions or further legal challenges are resolved in a timely manner, considering the significant stakes involved for TikTok, its users, and national security interests.

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