The video app TikTok has launched a lawsuit against the government of Montana in the northwestern United States after the state passed a law on Wednesday effectively banning the app within its borders.

In a complaint filed with the US District Court in Montana on Monday, TikTok promised to fight what it characterised as an illegal effort to restrict its use.

“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” the social media company said in the court filing.

The complaint claims that the ban “abridges freedom of speech in violation of the First Amendment”, as well as other constitutional protections.

While numerous US states and federal agencies have limited or banned access to TikTok on government devices — based on claims that data from the platform could be used by the Chinese government for surveillance — the Montana law goes further and bans the app from the state entirely.

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