Boise (AP) — TikTok is suing the US state after announcing a ban on the video app in Montana. “We are challenging the unconstitutional ban of Tiktok in Montana to protect our business and hundreds of thousands of Montana Tiktok users,” the company said on Twitter. There are a number of precedents that Tiktok believes puts it in a strong legal position.
Montana was the first US state to ban Tiktok last week. The law, signed by Governor Greg Gianforte, will prevent download platforms from offering the app from January 1, 2024. Users should not be penalized if they keep using Tiktok on their devices. However, in the northwest state, Tiktok should not operate as a business.
Is there a nationwide ban?
Tiktok belongs to the Chinese internet group Bytedance and is under strong political pressure in the United States. President Joe Biden’s administration has banned its employees from using the app on cellphones.
An investigation has been going on in the US for months now that could lead to a nationwide ban on Tiktok if there is no change in ownership. The background is fears that Chinese authorities and secret services could collect information on Americans via Tiktok and influence them politically. Company legal objection and lawsuits from individuals may delay or prevent the law from taking effect.
Critics of the state’s actions say it oversteps its authority to enact such bans on national security or foreign policy grounds. Montana also shouldn’t ban an entire platform just because the state deems certain statements made there, which are protected by free speech, to be dangerous.
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