Lawsuit targets Texas move to ban TikTok on state devices

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — An Ivy League school is at the center of a lawsuit challenging a Texas ban of TikTok on state devices.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed the action against Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday.

The lawsuit claims the state’s ban on TikTok is unconstitutional and interferes with the ability to perform research on the part of professors.

TikTok critics claim the app is a pro-Beijing propaganda platform and data miner that compiles background information on billions of people world-wide and in the U.S.

The social media platform is owned by it’s Chinese Communist Party-controlled parent company ByteDance.

The White House and Congress both have banned TikTok on official devices, citing espionage fears.

Texas followed suit in December with other states also taking steps to ban TikTok on state-owned devices and a prohibition at universities across the country.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, cites University of Northern Texas professor Jacqueline Vickery having to suspend her research projects due to the ban on TikTok.  Vickery also claims the ban keeps her from assigning students class work requiring them to access TikTok.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office did not immediately reply for a request for comment.

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