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HomeTechnologySupport Grows for TikTok Against Montana State Ban | Tech Industry Backing

Support Grows for TikTok Against Montana State Ban | Tech Industry Backing

In a notable move, two leading tech organizations have thrown their weight behind TikTok’s legal battle against Montana’s upcoming ban on the popular short video-sharing app.

Set to go into effect on January 1, the ban has garnered opposition from NetChoice, a prominent national trade association for major tech platforms, and Chamber of Progress, a coalition representing the tech industry.

Together, these organizations have jointly submitted a court filing asserting that Montana’s attempt to disconnect its residents from the global network of TikTok users is a misguided effort that goes against the very essence and design of the internet. Their argument centers around the belief that this ban could lead to a fractured online experience, where users’ access to information becomes limited based on the whims of local politicians, ultimately eroding the cohesive nature and overall value of the internet.

TikTok, a social media platform owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, had previously taken legal action in May to prevent this unprecedented state-level ban. The company’s lawsuit contends that the ban violates the First Amendment rights of both TikTok and its users. A crucial hearing regarding TikTok’s plea for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for October 12.

With a user base of over 150 million Americans, TikTok has not been without its share of controversies. Concerns about potential influence from the Chinese government have prompted calls from various US lawmakers for a nationwide ban on the app. TikTok has, however, consistently maintained that it has never shared, nor would it share, user data with the Chinese government. The company asserts that it has implemented rigorous measures to safeguard the privacy and security of its users.

The Montana ban could impose substantial fines of up to $10,000 for each TikTok violation, although these penalties do not extend to individual users of the platform. TikTok estimates that approximately 380,000 Montanans, accounting for more than a third of the state’s population of 1.1 million, are active users of the app.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time TikTok has faced legal challenges in the US. In 2020, former President Donald Trump attempted to prevent new downloads of TikTok, but a series of court rulings prevented the ban from being enforced. The ongoing legal battle in Montana further underscores the complex relationship between technology, regulation, and free speech rights in the digital age.

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