Tech groups rally behind TikTok in lawsuit against Montana state ban

In a joint legal filing, the groups argued that the state’s move to cut off Montanans from TikTok’s global user network undermines the core principles of the internet.

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Two prominent technology advocacy groups, NetChoice and Chamber of Progress, have thrown their support behind TikTok’s legal battle to thwart the enforcement of a forthcoming ban on the popular short video-sharing app in Montana.

The groups jointly filed a court document asserting that Montana’s ban on TikTok contradicts the fundamental principles of the internet and could lead to a fragmented online experience. TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, has been locked in a legal dispute since May, claiming that the state’s ban infringes upon the First Amendment rights of the company and its users.

The tech groups contended that the ban, if implemented, could lead to a fragmented internet where access to information is restricted based on local political preferences, diminishing the overall value of the internet for humanity. A court hearing on TikTok’s request for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for October 12th.

Why does it matter?

Former President Donald Trump attempted to block new downloads of TikTok in 2020. Still, his efforts were thwarted by a series of court decisions, not without prompting a cascade of global considerations. Concerns include data privacy and content censorship, particularly regarding potential Chinese access to user data.  Austria recently joined the UK and the EU states in prohibiting TikTok on government devices, reflecting this global trend. Tech groups argue that these decisions could have potential consequences for allowing states to ban specific online platforms, leading to a fragmented internet experience and curtailing users’ access to global networks.