TiKTok sues Montana over state-wide ban, legal expert weighs in

May 23, 2023, 7:00 PM

FILE - The icon for the video sharing TikTok app is seen on a smartphone, Feb. 28, 2023, in Marple ...

FILE - The icon for the video sharing TikTok app is seen on a smartphone, Feb. 28, 2023, in Marple Township, Pa. TikTok, Inc., filed a lawsuit Monday, May 22, 2023, seeking to overturn Montana's first-in-the-nation ban on the video sharing app, arguing the law is an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights and is based on “unfounded speculation” that the Chinese government could access users' data. Photo credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

SALT LAKE CITY — Last week, Montana became the first state in the nation to issue a complete ban on TikTok. Gov. Greg Gianforte (R-Montana) signed legislation that prohibits the use of the social media app in the Treasure State.

However, TikTok has countered that measure by filing a lawsuit this week against the state, claiming Montana is violating the First Amendment. The band is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2024. 

KSL Legal Analyst and KSL at Night host Greg Skordas joined Dave & Dujanovic on Tuesday to discuss the case with hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic.

Noriega starts off by asking, “But is there a First Amendment issue here where you’re saying you cannot say anything on TikTok?”

“And that’s exactly what the bulk of the lawsuit is about,” Skordas said. “I mean Debbie said it’s First Amendment and other issues, but First Amendment is what is driving this.”

Skordas goes on to say, the Chinese government has a policy that all businesses or companies operating inside that country must share information. First Amendment aside, Skordas says Montana’s point is it is protecting the privacy of its residents and doesn’t want their private information to end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Does Montana have a case against TikTok?

Dujanovic adds, “The state will have to show proof of that though, right? They’ll have to connect the dots for the courts. I would presume to show that they have proof that TikTok is indeed sending private information from Montana residents who are on TikTok to the Chinese government. Am I wrong?”

“You’re exactly right,” Skordas said. “And that’s going to be a huge problem because TikTok has said that their clearing house.”

Skordas says TikTok claims the information is being stored and shared in Texas. And is not going to the Chinese Communist Party. He says that TikTok claims to be an American company, at least in terms of how the data is collected and stored. 

Noriega asked, “Does this affect basically any app that was produced or is operating in China?”

“It absolutely could,” Skordas said. “It doesn’t now. The law is specifically targeted to TikTok. But the same logic applies.”

In conclusion, Skordas suspects Montana is fighting an uphill battle.

“But in terms of the private sector with First Amendment issues that you guys are talking about,” he said. “I think the state of Montana has a difficult job there.”

Listen to the entire segment.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

USS Panay is seen in trials in off Woosung, China, in 1948. Photo credit: National Museum of the US...

Brad Lendon

Years before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan sank a US warship in China

(CNN) — It’s a day seared into America’s collective memory: December 7, 1941. The day Imperial Japanese warplanes launched a devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, sinking or damaging 19 US Navy ships, destroying 180 US aircraft and killing more than 2,400 Americans, servicemen and civilians. “A day that will live in infamy,” in the […]

19 hours ago

A new Washington Post-Ipsos poll shows that 75% of workers would prefer a 10-hour, four-day workwee...

Allessandra Harris

Four-day workweeks are growing in Utah once again, but this time they’re hybrid

A new Washington Post-Ipsos poll shows that 75% of workers would prefer a 10-hour, four-day workweek rather than the common 8-hour, five-day workweek.

2 days ago

State judge temporarily blocks South Carolina’s 6-week abortion ban...

Dianne Gallagher, CNN

State judge temporarily blocks South Carolina’s 6-week abortion ban

A South Carolina judge has temporarily blocked the state’s new abortion restrictions from going into effect, just one day after Gov. Henry McMaster signed them into law.

2 days ago

Wasatch Front Regional Council meets to discuss the little cottonwood canyon gondola...

Aimee Cobabe

Wasatch Front Regional Council passes transportation plan including Little Cottonwood gondola

The Wasatch Front Regional Council voted in favor of a transportation plan which includes the gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

3 days ago

oath keepers founder stewart rhodes pictured...


Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes sentenced to 18 years for seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 attack

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes' sentence is the longest that has been handed down so far in the hundreds of Capitol riot cases.

3 days ago

Samantha Delouya, Clare Duffy and Donie O'Sullivan

Glitches, echoes and ‘melting the servers’ crash DeSantis’ campaign launch on Twitter

NEW YORK (CNN) — Twitter’s livestream event with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis crashed and was delayed on Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of users logged on to hear DeSantis announce his bid for the White House. Sound from the livestream event — which was held on Twitter Spaces and hosted by owner Elon Musk and tech entrepreneur […]

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

TiKTok sues Montana over state-wide ban, legal expert weighs in