ACLU, EFF Side with TikTok Against Americans in Montana Brief

August 16th, 2023 4:19 PM

Two major leftist groups have taken the side of communist Chinese government-tied TikTok against U.S. national security interests.

Following growing evidence of TikTok’s security risks, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) signed legislation in May to ban the application. Once the law takes effect, Montana will fine TikTok and app store providers that offer TikTok in Montana. The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Montana and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have filed an amicus brief for consolidated lawsuits against the state of Montana’s TikTok ban, an ACLU press release announced August 11.

ACLU claimed the ban was “mass censorship,” ignoring TikTok’s own censorship-heavy track record. TikTok, which is owned by Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-tied ByteDance, has raised bipartisan concerns over the application’s national security risks.

As Commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission Brendan Carr previously told MRC Free Speech America, “The actions that almost 30 states have taken is a very good step in the right direction…[but] we have to go much further than that.” He said “we need to address this nationwide, for everybody, not just government devices.”

The ban against use of TikTok in Montana is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2024, but the lawsuits are attempting to secure a preliminary injunction to block the ban taking effect, per the press release. “Montana’s law violates the First Amendment, plain and simple, and it should be halted,” pontificated Patrick Toomey, deputy director of ACLU’s National Security Project.

“The ACLU has long forgotten that our government’s role is to protect us from foreign enemies,” said MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider. “It should find its way back to protecting the actual First Amendment rights of Americans and stop flacking for its communist masters.”

The Chinese Communist Party owns a board seat and maintains a financial stake in TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. Indeed, whistleblower testimony and other terrifying evidence demonstrates a clear risk from TikTok, including the CCP’s sinister access to user data. Not only that, but TikTok has been caught censoring content to please the Chinese Communist Party before.

The original lawsuits for which ACLU and EFF filed amicus briefs were brought against Montana by TikTok and TikTok users. 

“Once again, Montana’s legislature seeks to unnecessarily insert itself into the daily life of ordinary Montanans,” asserted Alex Rate, legal director for ACLU of Montana. “We will not stand idly by while the government adopts unconstitutional new restrictions on the ways that we communicate with one another.”

“Many Montanans use TikTok to communicate with local and global audiences,” whined David Greene, EFF’s Civil Liberties Director. “The state must not violate their rights by banning this speech platform.” He did not address TikTok’s security risks.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact TikTok via email at and demand Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment and provide transparency. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.