(TheConservativeTimes.org) – A First Amendment rights group has filed a lawsuit challenging Texas Governor Gregg Abbott’s TikTok ban on state-sponsored devices. The group argues that the ban impedes freedom of speech and expression because it expands to public colleges and universities in the state.
The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York has filed the lawsuit on behalf of researchers and academics who study the impact of technology on society.
The lawsuit claims that the ban on the app on state-sponsored devices, as well as private devices used for work-related activities, impedes the activities of teachers and researchers. Specifically, the group contends that the ban would hinder those researching the app, which could further expose problems with TikTok or counter the current concerns with the app.
The concern over TikTok stems from the fact that its parent company, ByteDance, is a Chinese company, and many lawmakers are concerned that the app could be used to spy on Americans and push Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda. ByteDance maintains that it has not given any data from American TikTok users to the Chinese government.
The banning of TikTok on government devices is not new. In March, the federal government banned the app on all government devices. Canada issued a similar order around the same time. The European Union also banned TikTok on its official devices, which took effect on March 20.
European countries have a wide range of internet data laws, which tend to be far stricter than those in America. Ireland, for instance, has already begun to investigate TikTok for the alleged transfer of data from Irish TikTok users to China, which could break the country’s laws.
India has also banned TikTok, along with a slew of other Chinese apps, such as the popular messaging platform WeChat, which Chinese citizens commonly use as a main form of text messaging.
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