Montana has become the first state to pass a bill that would ban TikTok across the state, a move that has been debated for years. The bill, which is now awaiting Governor Greg Gianforte’s signature, would bar ByteDance, the China-based company that owns TikTok, from operating within the state. The ban is set to go into effect on January 1, 2024, and any entity violating the law could face a fine of $10,000 per violation.
Montana becomes the first state to ban TikTok
While other states have already banned TikTok on government-issued devices, Montana’s ban would be the first statewide ban on the social media app. This comes from concerns over data privacy and security, with Montana lawmakers stating that they want the state to be a “leader” in banning access to TikTok.
However, it’s unclear how the legislation would be enforced, and it’s possible that it could face legal challenges if signed into law. Furthermore, the penalties would not be applied to users themselves but rather to ByteDance or the app store from which the app was downloaded, including Apple and Google.
TikTok has responded to the bill, stating that it will “continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.” The app has been the subject of controversy due to its ties to China, with some government officials calling it a “tool used by the Chinese government to spy on Americans.”
The passage of this bill could also set a precedent for other states to follow suit and ban TikTok, potentially leading to a series of legal challenges and ultimately making its way to the Supreme Court. As the debate over the platform continues, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits and risks of using the app and to prioritize data privacy and security.
In conclusion, Montana’s decision to pass a bill that would ban the platform statewide marks a significant development in the ongoing debate over the popular social media app’s ties to China and data privacy concerns. If signed into law, the bill could have far-reaching implications for TikTok users and creators, and could potentially set the stage for similar bans in other states.
(via the Wall Street Journal)