Montana AG Mounts Defense of State’s TikTok Ban

  • Montana AG Austin Knudsen is defending a new Montana law which prohibits the social media platform TikTok from operating in the state and prohibits mobile application stores from making TikTok available for download starting on January 1, 2024.
  • TikTok Inc. and a group of users funded by the company have filed suit against the state, seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from going into effect.
  • In his opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction, AG Knudsen asks the federal court to keep the law in effect while the case proceeds, arguing that it is a permissible exercise of state police power to ban harmful conduct, including TikTok sharing private user data with members of the Chinese government through its Chinese parent company ByteDance Ltd. AG Knudsen also refutes the plaintiffs’ arguments that the law violates the First Amendment, is preempted by federal law, and violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, among other things.
  • As previously reported, TikTok has been the subject of intense AG scrutiny, including a multistate investigation into potential consumer protection violations, and a lawsuit brought by Indiana AG Todd Rokita relating to data collection and child safety.