Five TikTok content creators have filed a lawsuit to try to overturn Montana's ban on the video-sharing app TikTok, arguing that the law is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's right to free speech, the Associated Press reported on the 19th.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court by the Montana residents on 17 local time, claims that Montana's government has no authority over national security matters, according to the report. The lawsuit also alleges that "the law takes the broadest measures available to its subjects to limit and prohibit the otherwise protected speech rights of all TikTok users in Montana to prevent the merely speculative and unsubstantiated possibility that the Chinese government may have directed TikTok or its parent company to spy on certain Montana users ".
The lawsuit was filed hours after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the measure into law, saying the ban would "immediately and permanently deprive plaintiffs of the ability to express themselves and communicate with others," according to the report. Plaintiffs' lawyers wrote that "Montana cannot ban its residents from viewing or posting on TikTok any more than it can ban the Wall Street Journal or the newspaper because of who owns the opinions it publishes."
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte officially signed a bill on the 17th to ban TikTok from operating in the state, effective Jan. 1 next year, the Wall Street Journal reported on the 18th. The bill prohibits TikTok from operating in Montana and prohibits app stores such as Google and Apple from providing TikTok download services. tikTok and app stores that violate the law will be fined $10,000 per day. In a tweet, Gianforte said, "To protect Montanans' personal and private data from China, I have banned TikTok in Montana," Gianforte said in a 17-day signing statement, adding that he will instruct some state employees to ban all use of social networking on state devices and in state affairs associated with foreign rivals media applications.