TikTok Sues Montana Over State Ban

TikTok filed a lawsuit Monday to stop the state of Montana from banning the popular video app, stepping up efforts to block the nation’s first ban.

In a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Montana, the company said Montana law violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and portions of the U.S. Constitution that limit state powers. In its complaint, the company said the ban “unconstitutionally shuts down the forums of all speakers who speak on the app.”

TikTok filed the lawsuit days after Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed into law a ban that would impose fines for running video apps in the state and fines for allowing downloads in app stores. . The state law is a test of whether TikTok, owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, can be banned because of national security concerns. The ban is set to go into effect on January 1, but questions have already been raised about how it will be enforced within Montana’s borders.

“To protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana, we are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional ban on TikTok,” said TikTok spokesperson Brooke Overwetter in a statement. Stated. “We believe our legal challenge will prevail, based on a very strong set of precedents and facts.”

This lawsuit adds to the legal challenge of the ban. A group of TikTok users, signed by Gianforte, said Wednesday they will challenge Montana’s bill, saying it violates First Amendment rights and exceeds the state’s legal authority. filed a lawsuit. The law also sparked protests from civil liberties and digital rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

A spokesperson for the Montana Attorney General did not respond to a request for comment.

TikTok, which has more than 150 million U.S. users, has stalled under two presidential administrations while trying to quell concerns over Chinese ownership. The company is awaiting approval of its plans to operate in the United States by the Biden administration, but it already faces government device bans in more than 20 states, not just universities and the military.

Montana’s ban was drafted by Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen and introduced earlier this year by a Republican state senator. Lawmakers in the state said the ban would prevent the Chinese government from accessing Montana’s personal information. The debate over the ban began not long after a Chinese spy balloon flew over the state and gained national attention.

A new law bans TikTok from operating the app in the state. App store operators such as Apple and Google are also prohibited from making apps available for download in the state. Failure to comply by TikTok, Apple and Google could result in fines of $10,000 per day.

In 2020, TikTok sued the federal government when President Donald J. Trump used emergency economic powers to issue an executive order blocking the app from operating in the United States. A judge sided with the company, another judge blocked the ban after a challenge from a group of creators, and the app avoided the ban.

TikTok was banned in some countries, including India, in 2020. The UK, Canada and France recently banned the use of apps on official government terminals.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button