TikTok files suit to stop ban in US State of Montana

Montana [US], May 23 (ANI): TikTok on Monday filed a lawsuit in a US federal court to prevent Montana from outright banning the video-sharing social media app, The Washington Post reported.

TikTok said in the lawsuit that the unprecedented prohibition, which is scheduled to go into effect in 2024, violates the constitutionally guaranteed right to free expression.

The well-known video app TikTok filed a lawsuit against Montana on Monday, claiming that the country’s First Amendment right to free speech will be violated by the state’s new law prohibiting the app nationwide, reported The Washington Post.

The lawsuit attempts to invalidate the legislation, which was signed last week by Republican Governor of the state Greg Gianforte and is scheduled to take effect on January 1. The proposal will probably be delayed by the legal argument.

In its complaint, TikTok, which estimates 150 million US users, said that the state’s “extraordinary and unprecedented measures [are] based on nothing more than unfounded speculation..”

Five TikTok creators in Montana also sued Montana last week over the ban, claiming First Amendment safeguards, as per The Washington Post.

Taking to Twitter last week, the Governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte announced the ban on TikTok in Montana saying that it is done to protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.

“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,” Gianforte tweeted.

“I prohibited the use of TikTok on state devices which poses a significant risk to the security of our state and Montanans’ sensitive data.”

Gianforte said that TikTok posed a “significant risk” to confidential state information when Montana banned the app on devices used by the government in December 2022.

Both the federal government and more than half of the states in the US have a comparable ban on video-sharing social networking platforms.

Gianforte also said that as of June 1, no social media platforms linked to foreign enemies would be allowed to be used on government property or for official activities in Montana.

He mentioned a number of apps, including WeChat, whose parent business is based in China, and Telegram Messenger, which was established in Russia.