TikTok is now suing Montana for a statewide ban in 2024

Photo credit: Mick Haupt

TikTok is suing Montana over a law banning the app statewide. Montana faces legal challenges from the creators and now the platform itself.

The company filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana on Monday, seeking a reversal of the law. The ban was signed into law by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), who said at the time the intent of the legislation was to “protect Montanan’s private data and sensitive personal information from collection by the Chinese Communist Party.” That’s because TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese media giant that was caught accessing American data and spying on American journalists.

“We request Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our company and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” the company said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit. “We believe our legal challenge will prevail on the basis of an extremely strong set of precedent and facts.”

The Montana Law states: “The People’s Republic of China is opposed to the United States and Montana and has an interest in collecting information about Montanan, Montana corporations and users’ intellectual property for the purposes of corporate and international espionage. ”

Due to the way Chinese law works, ByteDance, like other Chinese companies, may be required to share information with the Chinese government. Also the law claims that TikTok “does not remove and may even promote dangerous content that encourages minors to engage in dangerous activities.”

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before the US House of Representatives in a hearing hoping to clear up misunderstandings about the app. But its inability to answer questions about China’s influence on TikTok and its ability to access user data through the app sparked growing concerns over whether the app should be banned in the US

“Montana’s ban violates freedom of expression in violation of the First Amendment, violates the US Constitution in several other respects, and violates federal law,” the post reads legal action try to get the ban lifted.