NEW YORK — Late last night, President Trump released two executive orders aimed at banning TikTok and WeChat from operating in the United States. The orders are set to take effect in 45 days.
The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
“These executive orders raise serious First Amendment concerns that deserve more consideration than they seem to have received thus far. The Supreme Court held 50 years ago that the First Amendment protects Americans’ right to receive information from abroad. It has also recognized the right of Americans to challenge government action that burdens their ability to communicate and engage with foreign citizens overseas. If the executive orders had been directed at traditional media organizations—for example, the Guardian, or the BBC, or al Jazeera—the First Amendment implications would be obvious to everyone. But those implications are, if anything, even more significant here, because Americans are not just recipients of content on TikTok and WeChat but suppliers of content as well. The privacy and security concerns with platforms like these are real, but we should be wary of setting a precedent that would give this president, and every future one, broad power to interfere with Americans’ access to media.”
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