Montana’s TikTok ban – the first in the US – was signed into law in May. TikTok and five creators are hoping to turn that around.
TikTok Inc and a group of five content creators who are suing the US state of Montana over the country’s first law banning the video-sharing app are now asking a federal judge to halt the law’s implementation while the case goes on. are saying. through the courts and before it takes effect in January.
Separate requests for a preliminary injunction were filed Wednesday in federal court in Missoula. Cases challenging the law were filed in May and have since been consolidated by US District Judge Donald Molloy.
Montana’s Attorney General Austin Knudsen drafted the bill over concerns — shared by the FBI and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken — that the app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, could be used to allow the Chinese government to access US citizens’ information. can be done for Promote pro-Beijing misinformation that could influence the public. Tiktok has said that nothing like this has happened.
Proposals for injunction make arguments similar to cases against the state – that the ban is an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights and that the state has no authority to regulate foreign affairs.
Court records say attorneys for both sides have agreed to a schedule that calls for the state to respond to the motions by mid-August and the plaintiffs to file their answers by mid-September.
The company and the Montana content creators argue that a preliminary injunction should be granted because the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their challenges to the law and that the ban, if effective, would cause them irreparable harm by depriving them of the ability to express themselves and communicate. Will be Other.
First statewide ban in America
The company has argued that TikTok has safeguards in place to moderate content and protect minors and will not share information with China. But critics point to China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law that forces companies to cooperate with the country’s governments for state intelligence operations.
“TikTok users don’t use the app — the app uses them and turns them into a spying apparatus for the Chinese Communist Party,” Emily Flower, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said in a statement. Paying for lawsuits filed by content creators.
“‘Support’ of TikTok is bought and paid for – Montanans recognize the danger the app poses to their privacy and national security”.
More than half of US states, including Montana, and the federal government have banned TikTok from government-owned devices.
Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law in May, saying Montana is “taking the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ personal data and sensitive personal information from being accessed by the Chinese Communist Party.” “.
Starting June 1, Gianforte also banned the use of any social media apps linked to foreign opponents for state equipment and state businesses. The apps he listed include WeChat, whose parent company is headquartered in China; and Telegram messenger, which was founded in Russia.