Breaking down TikTok’s legal arguments around free speech, national security claims

April 25, 2024Media Mention

Doug Mirell, litigation partner and First Amendment expert, shared his insights with TechCrunch regarding the recently passed federal law that requires China-based ByteDance to divest itself of its interest in TikTok under threat that the platform will be banned in the United States.


“In light of the fact that the Trump administration’s attempt in 2020 to force ByteDance to sell TikTok or face a ban was challenged on First Amendment grounds and was rejected as an impermissible ‘indirect regulation of informational materials and personal communications,’ coupled with last December’s federal court order enjoining enforcement of Montana’s law that sought to impose a statewide TikTok ban as a ‘likely’ First Amendment violation, I believe this latest legislation suffers from the same fundamental infirmity,” Douglas E. Mirell, partner at Greenberg Glusker, told TechCrunch.

“When this case goes to court, the Government (i.e., the Department of Justice) will ultimately have to prove that TikTok poses an imminent threat to the nation’s national security and that there are no other viable alternatives for protecting that national security interest short of the divestment/ban called for in this legislation,” Mirell told TechCrunch in a follow-up email.

Read the full article on TechCrunch.