Technology TikTok is suing Montana over controversial state ban

TikTok is suing Montana over controversial state ban


On Monday, TikTok sued Montana over a new law that would ban the app statewide next year.

The lawsuit comes less than a week after Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed SB 419, the first state law to ban the popular video app. The law, which takes effect in January 2024, would prohibit TikTok from operating “within the territorial jurisdiction of Montana” and would force mobile app stores to make the app unavailable for download in the state.

“We challenge Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our company and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement Monday. “We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an extraordinarily strong set of precedents and facts.”

TikTok’s lawsuit follows many of the criticisms civil liberties groups like the ACLU have raised since the bill was first passed by the Montana State Legislature in April. The lawsuit claims the ban is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment. TikTok also argues that it is illegal for states to enforce these bans, claiming that the federal government has sole authority to address threats to national security.

TikTok’s Monday suit is the second to challenge the ban in Montana. Last Thursday, a group of TikTok creators filed their own lawsuit, calling it unconstitutional and infringing on their right to free speech.

While Montana’s ban is the first state ban to pass, TikTok has previously challenged other federal attempts to ban its app nationwide. US federal judges have blocked efforts to ban that and other Chinese apps like WeChat, stemming from executive orders signed by former President Donald Trump.

Last Thursday, Eric Ebenstein, TikTok’s vice president of public policy, told CNN that the complaints about Montana’s national security, state lawmakers and federal policymakers were unwarranted.

“National security concerns rightly fall within the purview of the federal government,” Ebenstein said Thursday. “That’s not the basis of the government of Montana or any other state. We think there’s probably a reason why no other state currently has a similar bill. This is an outlier.”

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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