TikTok Sues Montana After Bill Bans the Platform Statewide

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

TikTok Sues Montana After Bill Bans the Platform Statewide

By Movieguide® Staff

TikTok announced that they are suing the state of Montana after the announcement of a new bill that bans the use of the social media platform statewide.

Engadget reported:

TikTok filed a lawsuit on Monday in the U.S. District Court of Montana to challenge the state’s ban of the social platform, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The case was brought against the state Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

Montana’s governor signed the bill into law last week, just one month after it passed through the state legislature. It was met with immediate pushback — a group of creators quickly sued the state, calling the law unconstitutional. Now TikTok is suing the state directly with similar claims, stating in the lawsuit that Montana’s law violates the First Amendment. “Montana’s ban abridges freedom of speech in violation of the First Amendment, violates the U.S. Constitution in multiple other respects, and is preempted by federal law,” the lawsuit reads.

Movieguide® previously reported of the ban:

On Wednesday, Montana became the first state to ban TikTok when State Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill disallowing the app to be available for download within the state.

“Today, Montatn takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party,” Gianforte said after signing the bill.

“TikTok is just one app tied to foreign adversaries. Today I directed the state’s Chief Information Officer to ban any application that provides personal information or data to foreign adversaries from the state network,” he continued on Twitter.

The law makes it illegal for TikTok to be available for download within Montana. The state would be able to fine any “entity,” such as the Apple App store or Google Play store, $10,000 per day each time a user is offered the ability to download or access the app.

“Governor Gianforte has signed a bill that infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana by unlawfully banning TikTok, a platform that empowers hundreds of thousands of people across the state. We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” TikTok said in response to the ban.

It is expected that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, will invoke legal action in response to the ban, arguing the ban violates the First Amendment and is therefore unconstitutional and illegal. However, if the ban holds, it will go into effect on January 1st, 2024, affecting roughly 200,000 Montanans and an estimated 6,000 Montana businesses that use the app.

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