TikTok filed a lawsuit Monday against Montana in federal court after the state passed a law banning the app last week.
TikTok, owned by the company Bytedance, linked to the Chinese Communist Party, issued a statement calling Montana's decision unconstitutional.
We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) May 22, 2023
In the lawsuit, filed in District Court, TikTok alleges that the ban violates the First Amendment. The company has reached out to the federal court claiming that the ban is subject to federal law because it seeks to address a matter of national security that is regulated by the U.S. government.
Last week, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill banning TikTok. He claimed that the decision was due "to protect Montanans' personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party." Montana became the first state to take this step. Since then, a group of TikTok content creators residing in the state sued the authorities claiming that it constitutes a crime against freedom of speech.
However, the ban does not prevent existing TikTok users from accessing the app or penalize them for doing so. It focuses on the availability of the app, threatening companies such as Google and Apple with a $10,000 fine for every day the platform remains available in their app stores for Montana users.