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Congress Must Respect the First Amendment in National Security Debates

WASHINGTON—Today, TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, after lawmakers have raised concerns about the app’s national security and data security practices. 

“The proposals so far to restrict Americans’ access to TikTok could set a dangerous precedent where DC politicians decide which apps we are permitted to access,” said NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel Carl Szabo. “Banning an app used by millions of Americans to read news, express themselves and communicate raises some deep concerns about the government’s ability to curtail free speech.”

“Existing proposals to ban TikTok give the President unprecedented power to ban media services with little oversight or measures to protect the free speech rights of Americans. These efforts may inch us toward government controlling speech online—the very thing the U.S. stands against,” continued Szabo. 

“In light of the many examples we’ve already seen of government officials trying to suppress speech online, the last thing we should be doing is handing politicians more power to coerce social media without seeing the evidence of a substantial national security threat.”

NetChoice would also like to flag the press statement from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education on efforts to ban TikTok in the U.S. 

Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.