TikTok hits back at Montana over ban

Last week, Montana’s governor signed a law banning app stores from allowing users in the state to download the Chinese app, essentially banning the service from its territory and preventing it from operating as a business. The ordinance prohibiting access to TikTok will take effect in the state from January next year, which will impose fines on app stores or TikTok itself if they offer access to the social media platform, but will not penalize users.

At the time, TikTok said: the law passed in Montana violates the rights of the public and illegally bans the service, and therefore “it will protect the rights of users inside and outside of Montana.” As a result, the company has now announced that it is retaliating with a federal lawsuit against the state’s governor to make the app available to Montanans. In the complaint, TikTok argues that the ban would violate the constitution, as it would limit the rights of companies to distribute user-generated content, as well as limit users’ freedom of speech.


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The owner of the video service says Montana is also overstepping its role by trying to legislate on national security issues as a state instead of leaving the issue to federal regulators, which otherwise fall under Washington’s purview.

The governor of Montana would cut off access citing the protection of citizens’ sensitive personal data, citing accusations that the application’s developers share data with the Chinese Communist Party. The company is therefore asking the court for an order to stop the ban in Montana, and it hopes that, based on extremely strong precedents and facts, it will be able to enforce its position.

After the restraining order was announced, five TikTok video creators filed a lawsuit against the state, similarly arguing that the ban would violate the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right to free speech.

It is the most dramatic restriction yet against the software, owned by China’s ByteDance, after the United States waved a nationwide ban if the parent company does not sell the service. In recent months, TikTok has come under increasing pressure from Congress and state legislatures in the United States. More and more places are enacting rules regarding the use of TikTok on government devices, but Montana’s law would take another level of restrictions on access to the app.

Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.

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