TikTok users file lawsuit against Montana over first-in-nation law banning app

Five TikTok creators filed lawsuit to overturn state’s proposed ban on the video sharing app

Via AP news wire
Friday 19 May 2023 10:43 BST
What Montana's TikTok Ban Means For the Platform Across U.S.

Five TikTok users have filed a lawsuit to overturn Montana’s proposed ban on the video-sharing app , which the state’s governor signed into law this week.

In a legal complaint filed in federal court in Missoula, the users claimed that the law is an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights. They also allege the state doesn’t have authority over matters of national security.

Governor Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law Wednesday and said it would protect Montana residents’ private data and personal information from being harvested by the Chinese government.

The ban is set to become law in the state on 1 January 2024.

“We expected a legal challenge and are fully prepared to defend the law,” said Emily Flower, spokeswoman for the Montana Department of Justice.

TikTok has argued that the law infringes on people’s First Amendment rights and is unlawful.

Some lawmakers, the FBI and officials at other agencies are concerned the video-sharing app, owned by ByteDance, could be used to allow the Chinese government to access information on U.S. citizens or push pro-Beijing misinformation that could influence the public.

TikTok says none of this has ever happened.

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