HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Five TikTok content creators have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Montana’s first-in-the-nation ban on the video sharing app, arguing the law is an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights.
The Montana residents also argued in the complaint, filed in federal court late Wednesday without public notice, that the state doesn’t have any authority over matters of national security. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law Wednesday and said it would protect Montana residents’ private data and personal information from being harvested by the Chinese government.
The ban is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
“The law takes the broadest possible approach to its objectives, restricting and banning the protected speech of all TikTok users in Montana to prevent the speculative and unsubstantiated possibility that the Chinese government might direct TikTok Inc., or its parent, to spy on some Montana users,” the complaint states.
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