HELENA, Mont. (AP) – Social media company TikTok Inc. filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to overturn Montana’s ban on a video-sharing app, claiming the law is an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights and is based on “unfounded assumptions” that the Chinese government can access user data. .
The lawsuit by TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, follows a lawsuit filed last week by five content creators. They made similar arguments, including that the state of Montana does not have the authority to act on matters of national security. Both lawsuits were filed in federal court in Missoula.
Republican government. Greg Gianforte signed the bill Wednesday, and the content creators’ lawsuit was filed hours later. The law is planned to enter into force in January. 1, but cybersecurity experts say it can be difficult.
TikTok says it has not shared or shared US user data with the Chinese government and has taken measures to protect the privacy and security of its users, including keeping all US user data in the US, according to the lawsuit.
Some lawmakers, FBI and other agency officials are concerned that the video-sharing app could be used to allow the Chinese government to access information about US citizens or promote pro-Beijing disinformation that could influence the public.
Chinese law requires Chinese companies to hand over data to the government for any purpose it deems to be national security. TikTok says it never happened.
“The Chinese Communist Party is using TikTok as a tool to spy on Americans, collecting personal information, keystrokes, and even the location of its users. it,” Montana Department of Justice spokeswoman Emily Flower said in a statement.
“We anticipated legal challenges and are fully prepared to defend the law that helps protect the privacy and safety of Montanans,” he wrote.
The federal government and about half of US states, including Montana, have banned TikTok from using government-owned devices.
Montana’s new law bans downloading TikTok in the state. It would fine any “entity” — an app store or TikTok — $10,000 a day each time someone is “offered the ability” to access the social media platform or download the app. Penalties will not apply to users.
There have been rumors of a ban on TikTok since 2020, when then-President Donald Trump tried to ban the company from operating in the US through an executive order that was stalled in federal courts. Congress has also considered banning the app due to security concerns.