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Montana Governor Greg Gianforte Signs Bill Banning TikTok

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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Montana Governor Greg Gianfort signed bill banning TikTok state

Montana Governor Greg Gianfort signed a bill banning TikTok in the state. Montana is the first state in the US to ban the application. Gianforte stated that the ban aims to protect Montanans' personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.

The law, which is scheduled to go into effect in January, targets TikTok and forbids the app from being used inside the state's boundaries. It contains clauses that could subject violators to daily fines of $10,000, including app retailers that host the TikTok app.

The state of Montana has taken the step yet to ban TikTok because of alleged security concerns with this action. It comes after several federal lawmakers demanded that TikTok be outlawed nationally. But it's expected that the measure will run into trouble in court.

The bill, known as SB419, received approval from the Montana House of Representatives last month with a vote of 54-43, ultimately reaching Governor Gianforte's desk for signature.

In response to the ban, TikTok issued a statement expressing its commitment to defending the rights of its users in Montana. Because TikTok gives hundreds of thousands of people in Montana the ability to express themselves, make a living, and connect with others, the company claimed that the new rule violates their First Amendment rights.

The ban's critics claim that it infringes on constitutional rights. They emphasized that the government cannot block access to constitutionally protected speech, whether it is on a website, in a newspaper, or through an app.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also opposed the bill, condemning the ban for trampling on the free speech rights of Montanans. The ACLU characterized the ban as driven by anti-Chinese sentiment.

Governor Gianforte further signed an additional bill, which prohibits the use of any social media application linked to foreign adversaries on government devices. This includes ByteDance-owned CapCut and Lemon8, as well as Telegram Messenger, which was founded in Russia.

As the ban takes effect in Montana, the debate surrounding TikTok's ties to China and concerns about data security continue to grow. While many US officials express fears about the potential for Chinese government access to US user data through TikTok, no concrete evidence of such access has been presented thus far. 

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