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TikTok files lawsuit to stop ban in US State of Montana, terms it 'violation of free expression'

TikTok: In the lawsuit, TikTok claimed that the unprecedented ban, set to take effect in 2024, violates the right to free expression that is protected by the constitution.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Washington Published on: May 23, 2023 9:42 IST
TikTok files lawsuit to stop the ban in US State of Montana
Image Source : FILE TikTok files lawsuit to stop the ban in US State of Montana

TikTok: In a latest development, TikTok has filed a lawsuit in a US federal court to stop Montana from outright banning the video-sharing social media app. In the lawsuit, TikTok claimed that the unprecedented ban, set to take effect in 2024, violates the right to free expression that is protected by the constitution, The Washington Post reported. It also claimed that the country's First Amendment right to free speech will be violated by the state's new law prohibiting the app nationwide. 

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 state sue Montana

According to the report, Five TikTok creators in the state also sued Montana last week over the ban, claiming First Amendment safeguards. 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.

What Montana govt said? 

"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.

ALSO READ: Montana becomes first US state to ban TikTok completely; Chinese app says it violates people's rights

It should be mentioned here that Montana has become the first US state to put a complete ban on video-sharing social networking app. The new law in Montana bans TikTok downloads within the state and fines any "entity"--such as an app store or TikTok--USD10,000 per day for each occasion when a user "is offered the ability" to visit the social media site or download the app. Users would not be subject to the fines. 

(With ANI inputs) 

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