USA: user appeal against TikTok ban in Montana
Five TikTok users filed an appeal in federal court in Montana, hours after the social network was banned in the state on Wednesday, to seek the reversal of this decision.
The file was filed shortly after the governor of this northwestern American state, Greg Gianforte, promulgated the law prohibiting from January 1, 2024 the distribution of the application by mobile application stores (Apple and Google). ), under penalty of a fine of 10,000 dollars per day and per infraction.
“Montana can no more prohibit its citizens from viewing or posting on TikTok than it can prohibit the Wall Street Journal on the basis of the identity of its owner or the opinions it conveys”, is it written in the appeal.
The short video app is owned by Chinese group ByteDance and many US lawmakers believe it allows Beijing to spy on and manipulate users, which the company denies.
For Mr. Gianforte, the ban must “protect from the Chinese Communist Party the data” of Montana residents.
The petitioners respond that the state is violating the right to freedom of expression and attempting to arrogate the powers of the federal government, which has jurisdiction over matters of national security.
According to the litigation document, the plaintiffs have a substantial number of followers on TikTok and are making money from the app.
Montana is the first American state to ban the social network, and will serve as a test for a possible national ban, which elected officials in Washington are demanding more and more strongly.
The ban will be canceled if TikTok is meanwhile acquired by a company whose country of origin is not considered an adversary state by the United States, however specifies the text of the law.
The application is already banned by many organizations, from federal agencies in the United States to the European Commission and the BBC.