TikTok is facing a new headache. Montana’s governor not only voiced his strong stance on TikTok, but also upheld the state’s ban on it.
Yes, he signed a bill banning TikTok “within the territorial jurisdiction of Montana.” We tell you all the details, and TikTok’s response to this announcement.
Montana sets precedent, first US state to ban TikTok
The Governor of Montana, Greg Gianfortehas let us know through his tweets the new position that the state of Montana will adopt with respect to TikTok:
To protect the personal and private data of Montanans from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana. TikTok is just an app linked to foreign adversaries. Today I directed the state’s CIO to ban any app that provides personal information or data to foreign adversaries of the state network.
While TikTok bans have already become a frequent topic in the United States, the state of Montana has taken the issue even further.
So far, these have only been partial bans, but the law enacted by Greg Gianforte makes Montana the first state in the United States to apply a total ban on TikTok.
It is not entirely a surprise, since this process began in March with the support of 30 votes in favor in the local Senate, and after going through all the stages, the new law has been promulgated.
The reason that the rulers of the United States have repeatedly stated for banning TikTok is no stranger: that it is a risk to national security. From there, the speculations are many. For example, that TikTok provides access to the data of American users to the Chinese authorities, or that it is used to spread false information that favors China.
On that basis, Montana already has a total ban on TikTok, under a law that takes effect on January 1, 2024.
What does the TikTok ban in Montana include?
Montana will prohibit downloading of the TikTok app within its borders. So any medium, such as app stores, that facilitates the download will face fines of $10,000 per day.
That is, in theory neither Google nor Apple should have the app available in their stores, so as not to facilitate the download for Montana residents. As for the users, no type of sanction will be applied.
We could say that this law leaves many holes in the way it intends to prevent users from using TikTok, since simply ordering stores not to provide the app we know is not realistic or enough.
Since the ways how users circumvent geographic bans are well known. And that is only one of the many questions that this law brings up.
TikTok’s response to Montana’s new ban law
And of course, the measure can be challenged. In fact, a TikTok spokesperson He already mentioned that they will take action on the matter so that this law is annulled:
Governor Gianforte has signed a bill that violates the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana by illegally banning TikTok, a platform that empowers hundreds of thousands of people across the state.
We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue to use TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue to work to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana.
Since there is no legal precedent for a total ban on TikTok, there are no certainties about anything. The law may simply be challenged in a few days. In short, we will have to see how the issue develops in the coming months.