by Ben Whedon
Chinese social media platform TikTok on Monday filed suit against a Montana law barring the platform from operating within the state and forbidding app marketplaces from offering it for download.
“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts,” the company wrote in a complaint filed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, per Politico.
The company contends that the state law unjustly singles out the platform, violates the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution, and violates TikTok’s right to disseminate third party speech. They further contend that foreign affairs are the province of the federal government and that the state lacks authority to address such matters.
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte on May 17 signed into law the measure, which was the first in the nation to entirely ban the platform at the state level. Numerous other states had barred the app on official devices, though the Montana law went so far as to block the app from use by private actors.
App marketplaces face a Jan. 1 2024, deadline to cease offering TikTok, which is owned by the Beijing-based ByteDance. The platform has come under fire for security reasons, due in part to the parent company’s close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
Numerous security officials have warned that the app presents a threat to American users, among them FBI Director Christopher Wray.
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Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News.