Montana faces lawsuit from TikTok after ban on Chinese-owned app

Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok filed a lawsuit yesterday in US federal court to prevent the state of Montana from enforcing a blanket ban on the app. The move comes after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte recently signed a law effectively banning the use of TikTok in the state.

The TikTok lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Montana, challenges an “illegal” ban imposed by the state. In its complaint, TikTok alleges that Montana’s ban violates its constitutional right to free speech, which is protected by the First Amendment.

TikTok has also gone beyond Montana’s jurisdiction in an attempt to regulate national security matters rather than obey federal regulators, resulting in unnecessary impediments to the company’s ability to engage in interstate business within the United States. claims to impose TikTok claims the ban is based on “baseless speculation” about the Chinese government’s potential access to TikTok’s data.

“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional ban on TikTok to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” a TikTok spokesperson said. Said.

“We believe the legal challenge will prevail, based on a very strong set of precedents and facts.”

The TikTok lawsuit names Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, who is responsible for enforcing the law in question.

The TikTok ban in Montana is set to go into effect in January 2024. According to the law, any “entity”, including app stores and TikTok itself, will be subject to fines whenever someone accesses the platform or is provided with an opportunity to access it. Download the app. The law does not penalize individual TikTok users. The ban would be void if TikTok was acquired by a company incorporated in a country not designated by the United States as a foreign enemy.

Gianforte said last week that his decisive action against TikTok would “prevent Montana’s personal data and sensitive personal information from being collected by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The ban follows a ban on using TikTok on government devices that came into force last December.

Last week, five TikTok creators sued themselves against the state of Montana and took legal action. Their argument also centers on violations of the First Amendment.

“This law takes the broadest possible approach to its purpose, leaving speculative and unfounded evidence that the Chinese government may direct TikTok Inc. or its parent company to spy on parts of Montana. We have restricted and banned protected speech for all TikTok users in Montana to prevent the possibility of the creators argued.

TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, faces criticism from a number of US politicians who say the app is under Chinese government influence and may be being used as an espionage tool by the Chinese government. are doing. TikTok has consistently denied these allegations, claiming it does not provide user data to the Chinese government.

In 2020, former President Donald Trump tried to block new downloads of TikTok and the Chinese-owned app WeChat. However, a series of court rulings intervened to prevent implementation of these bans.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner has stressed that it is becoming increasingly important for Congress to pass his bill as federal courts could overturn Montana’s ban. . The bill aims to give the president of the United States new powers to limit or outright ban TikTok and other foreign-owned applications.

Earlier this year, UK government bans use of TikTok Instant effect on government devices. The ban applies to work phones used by ministers and civil servants. However, it does not apply to personal phones.

In March BBC He also issued recommendations to employees and called on them to: Remove TikTok from work-related mobile devices.

Guidance issued by the company states that it “does not recommend installing TikTok on BBC corporate devices unless there is a legitimate business reason to do so.”

“If you don’t need TikTok for business reasons, you should remove TikTok.”

https://www.computing.co.uk/news/4116232/montana-lawsuit-tiktok-following-ban-chinese-owned-app Montana faces lawsuit from TikTok after ban on Chinese-owned app

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