TikTok is suing the state of Montana after a law banning it from 2024

TikTok is suing the state of Montana after a law banning it from 2024

TikTok is suing the state of Montana after a law banning it from 2024

“Tik Tok” filed a lawsuit, Monday, before a federal court to prevent the application of a law passed by the US state of Montana, according to which it bans the short video platform, as of the beginning of the year 2024.

In its lawsuit, “Tik Tok” considered that this unprecedented ban contradicts the freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution.

A spokesperson for the platform confirmed to AFP that TikTok is confident it can win this legal confrontation, relying on “a very strong set of precedents and facts”.

Last week, the state passed a law banning TikTok from January 1, 2024, in a move that other states may also adopt.
However, many experts in the field warn that the lawsuits and technical obstacles may make the application of the law difficult.

Greg Gianforte, the Republican governor of the northwestern US state, signed the law on May 17, citing his move as “protecting the personal and private data of Montanaans from the Chinese Communist Party.”

TikTok is owned by the Chinese ByteDance Group. Many members of the US Congress accuse this platform, which specializes in short and entertaining videos, which is used by 150 million people in the United States, of enabling Beijing to manipulate and spy on users, which those responsible for it deny.

And “Tik Tok” indicated in the text of the lawsuit that “the state activated these exceptional and unprecedented measures based on mere baseless speculation.”

Last week, five users of the application filed a lawsuit before a federal court, in which they considered that the ban interfered with their freedom of expression.

In this lawsuit, as in the one filed by “Tik Tok”, the plaintiffs accuse the state of Montana of attempting to exercise national security powers that belong exclusively to the US federal government, and of violating freedom of expression through this.

And the “Tik Tok” users saw in their lawsuit that “Montana has no right to prevent its residents from viewing or publishing on Tik Tok, as much as it has no right to ban (the newspaper) The Wall Street Journal because of its owner or the ideas it publishes.”

The new law orders online application stores (through Apple and Google devices) to stop making the app available for download in Montana as of January 1, 2024. Violating companies face a fine of $10,000 for each day of violation, but users will not be affected. No penalties.

Nor does the law provide any information on how to accurately determine the population of this sparsely populated state.

In addition to technical obstacles, the new law carries many elements whose legality can be challenged in the courts.

Decisions to ban TikTok have been issued by many organizations and federal agencies in the United States and the European Commission, including the BBC.

In light of the growing feelings of hostility to China in the West, the White House is discussing with Congress a series of bills aimed at banning the entire network in the country, despite the failure of former President Donald Trump to achieve this in 2020.

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