TikTok sues in bid to overturn Montana ban – Arutz Sheva
Social media company TikTok on Monday filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state of Montana’s first-in-the-nation ban on the video sharing app, The Associated Press reported.
The company argues the law is an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights and is based on “unfounded speculation” that the Chinese government could access users’ data.
The lawsuit by TikTok itself follows one filed last week by five content creators who made the same arguments, including that the state of Montana has no authority to take action on matters of national security. Both lawsuits were filed in federal court in Missoula.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte last Wednesday signed legislation to ban TikTok in the state, effective January. 1.
Montana’s new law prohibits downloads of TikTok in the state. It would fine any “entity” — an app store or TikTok — $10,000 per day for each time someone “is offered the ability” to access the social media platform or download the app. The penalties would not apply to users.
TikTok has faced rising concerns over national security due to Chinese parent company ByteDance. Both parties in Washington have become increasingly concerned that the Chinese government could use its legal powers to access the user data of American citizens or to spread misinformation.
In August of 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order giving Americans 45 days to stop doing business with ByteDance, saying Chinese tech operations may be used for spying. The company later announced it will challenge the crackdown on the service in court.
In December, the US House of Representatives Committee on House Administration banned TikTok from all House-managed mobile devices "due to a number of security risks".
In February, the White House gave government agencies 30 days to ensure they do not have TikTok on federal devices and systems.