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Judge questions Montana’s ban on TikTok

Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

A federal district judge voiced skepticism over Montana’s first-in-the-nation ban of TikTok during a hearing in Missoula on Thursday.

TikTok and several platform creators sued Montana earlier this year, calling the state’s ban unconstitutional and infringing on the free speech rights of both the company and users. Throughout Thursday’s hearing, attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that Montana’s ban was “overbroad,” while the state’s defense claimed it was necessary to protect the online privacy of Montana residents.

US District Judge Donald W. Molloy questioned the state’s evidence supporting its national security concerns and if it should make the decision on whether users share their data with the app.

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