Group of TikTokers Sue Montana Over State’s Ban Of The App

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FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2020, file photo, The TikTok app logo appears in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

A group of five TikTok users in Montana have sued the state aiming to reverse a planned ban on the video-sharing app.

They contend in a legal complaint put forth on Wednesday in federal court in Missoula that the law violates their constitutional right to free speech. Additionally, they argue that the state lacks jurisdiction over matters pertaining to national security.

On Wednesday, Governor Greg Gianforte enacted the bill into law, asserting that it would safeguard the private data and personal information of Montana residents from being exploited by the Chinese government.

The ban is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2024.

A spokesperson for the Montana Department of Justice told the Associated Press, “We anticipated a legal challenge and are fully prepared to defend the law.”

TikTok has also filed a lawsuit, asserting that the law encroaches upon individuals’ First Amendment rights and is unlawful.

Certain lawmakers, as well as the FBI and officials from other agencies, express concerns that the app, owned by ByteDance, could enable the Chinese government to gain access to information on American citizens or propagate pro-Beijing misinformation with potential influence over the public.

TikTok has maintained that none of these incidents have ever occurred.

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