LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Greg Gianforte, the governor of Montana has reportedly signed a bill that outlawed TikTok in the state.
The business has now responded by filing a lawsuit to defend its right to continue offering the app to Montanans.
TikTok claims in the case that Montana’s restriction is unconstitutional because it restricts the company’s ability to host and share user-generated material.
In addition, TikTok contends that by attempting to legislate questions of national security rather than deferring to federal regulators, Montana is overstepping its bounds and putting an unreasonable burden on its capacity to conduct interstate business.
READ ALSO: Montana Becomes 1st US State To Ban TikTok
Also, TikTok is asking the court for an injunction to block Montana’s ban, which, if granted, would allow the app to conduct business as usual in the state while the courts sort out the relevant issues.
“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,”
TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter told TechCrunch that “We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.”
Recently, TikTok has been under increasing pressure in the US from both Congress and state legislatures.
Even though it’s unclear how a state-level ban on a specific app could be enforced, rules against TikTok on government-owned devices and college networks were already emerging.
READ ALSO: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew To Appear Before US Congress Over Security Fears
However, Montana’s blanket ban on access to the app increases those threats significantly.
Gianforte said last week, alluding to unsubstantiated claims that the app shares data with the Chinese government “Today, Montana takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Last week, five TikTok creators filed their own lawsuit against the state, similarly arguing that the Montana ban violates the First Amendment. “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 creators argued.