Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedMarch 7, 2024

CCIA Statement on House Bill That Would Essentially Block TikTok in the U.S.

Washington – Today, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce is marking up H.R. 7521, the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act” that would place restrictions on app stores, internet hosting and other online services that enable access to applications controlled by “foreign adversaries.” 

Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Democracy & Technology and Electronic Frontier Foundation have opposed H.R. 7521, arguing that it would give the U.S. government broad power over online speech.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, which does not count TikTok as a member, had previously filed a “friend of the court” brief last year when Montana banned TikTok from being downloaded. Though the brief does not directly support TikTok, CCIA’s brief argued that the law constituted an infringement of app stores’ First Amendment rights.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Stephanie Joyce:

“The internet as a medium of communication may be new, but the principles at stake have not changed in more than 200 years. The government may not tell private parties, including digital service companies, what speech they may publish. The First Amendment forbids it.”

“With its harsh civil penalties and threat of U.S. Attorney General investigations, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act would infringe the First Amendment rights of private businesses, including websites and app stores, to curate and display content they believe is appropriate for their communities.”

“These proposals would also set a dangerous precedent that could invite foreign governments to follow suit in enacting problematic laws that assert control over social media websites.”