TikTok has filed a lawsuit to overturn Montana’s statewide ban on the app. The app has been banned by many states across the US following concerns about security and privacy.
TikTok’s ban in Montana was announced in February, with lawmakers arguing that the app was a threat to national security due to its alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party. The Montana ban followed similar bans by other states, including Oklahoma, New York, and Pennsylvania.
In its lawsuit, TikTok argued that the ban violates the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. TikTok also argues that there is no evidence to suggest that the app poses a national security threat, and that the ban is motivated by anti-Chinese sentiment.
TikTok is a widely popular app that allows users to create and share short videos. The app has been downloaded billions of times worldwide, and has been used by celebrities, politicians, and businesses to engage with their audiences.
The app has faced scrutiny from lawmakers around the world, however, due to concerns about its ownership by the Chinese company ByteDance. In August 2020, former US President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning TikTok if it did not sell its US operations to a US-based company. The order was later blocked by a US court.
TikTok has since been acquired by the US-based company Oracle, though some lawmakers remain skeptical about the app’s security and privacy.
The Montana ban on TikTok has been criticized by civil rights groups and free speech advocates, who argue that the ban is unconstitutional and sets a dangerous precedent for government censorship of online content.
The lawsuit is likely to be closely watched by other states considering similar bans, and by tech companies concerned about government overreach.
“TikTok is committed to protecting the privacy and safety of our users, and we are proud of our record in supporting millions of American families, especially those who have turned to TikTok during the pandemic,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. “We look forward to defending our rights and the rights of all Americans to express themselves freely and creatively online.”