Due to a statewide prohibition, TikTok is suing Montana

vincity May 23, 2023
Updated 2023/05/23 at 9:15 PM

Tiktok, a video-sharing app, has filed a lawsuit against Montana over a recent law that forbids the use of the service there.
After Republican Governor Greg Gianforte approved the bill on Wednesday, Montana became the first state in the US to outlaw the app. In January 2024, the law is expected to go into force.

According to Gainforte, the law was “to protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.”

In a statement shared with CBS News, a spokesperson for TikTok said the ban was “unconstitutional” and the company had optimism that it would prevail over the ban in court.

“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” the statement read. “We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.”

According to the company’s legal argument, the ban “effects a prior restraint on the speech of Plaintiff and other TikTok users, unconstitutionally shutting down the forum for speech for all speakers on the app and singling out these speakers for disfavored treatment with the content-based rationale that videos on TikTok are harmful to minors.”

Another argument against the restriction, according to the lawsuit, was that the US government, not a particular state, should have jurisdiction over security issues involving user data being accessible to the Chinese government.
The restriction, which threatens their livelihood, has already led Montanan TikTok video creators to sue the state government.

On Wednesday, only hours after the governor gave the law his approval, the organization filed the suit. They assert that the prohibition infringes upon their First Amendment freedom of access to and expression of “lawful speech.”

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