TikTok Sues Montana Over Statewide Ban

(RepublicanDaily.org) – The social media giant TikTok, which is owned by Chinese national company ByteDance, has sued the state of Montana for a statewide of its platform citing “extraordinary and unprecedented measures,” The Daily Caller reported. TikTok filed a lawsuit against Montana on Monday, May 21, Reuters reported. Montana has become the first state to formally ban the social media platform.

The Montana Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed legislation that banned the TikTok company from operating anywhere within the territory of Montana, The Daily Caller reported. Likewise, the legislation will prevent users in Montana from downloading the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Those who violate the new law will reportedly be fined “$10,000.”

In a social media post, Gianforte stated that he had banned the social media platform to protect the data of Montanans from the Chinese Communist regime, CNN Business reported.

TikTok has reportedly filed a lawsuit to fight that legislation and has argued that the legislation has violated the company’s First Amendment rights. In their lawsuit, TikTok likewise argued that the ban has violated the Commerce Clause and has been issued as a “bill of attainder” under the legal code of the U.S. Constitution. A “bill of attainder” is legislation that declares a specific party is “guilty of a crime,” Cornell Law School explained.

TikTok’s CEO, meanwhile, claimed that his company “would prevail” against the ban in the state of Montana, CNN Business reported.

The TikTok ban followed a hearing in March with the TikTok CEO Shou Chew who was compelled by Congress members of both parties to answer questions about TikTok’s use of American user data. The hearing was broadcast by C-SPAN.

The U.S. government has become increasingly more concerned about the access Chinese communist regime-linked entities have to American citizens’ information, following the sighting of a surveillance balloon above U.S. airspace. A “Chinese spy balloon” departed from Hainan Island, PRC, and floated over U.S. sovereign airspace before it was spotted in the sky by a photographer above Billings, Montana, NBC News reported. Lawmakers in Montana urged action following this event, Q2 Billings reported.

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