Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed the historic ban on Wednesday, becoming the first US state to do so. TikTok Totally prohibited.
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Because earlier, some states and even the central government had already banned the application on official mobile phones of government employees. Now, Montana has banned the use of TikTok statewide, preventing its citizens from accessing the platform.
Montana’s governor justified the move as a way to “protect the personal and private data of Montana citizens from the Chinese Communist Party,” which has been used in the country for years to demand a ban on TikTok.
The new law will come into force from January 2024 and penalizes app stores like Google Play Store and App Store that allow downloads of TikTok. The text makes no mention of app updates for existing installers.
TikTok can still appeal or be sold without being fully banned
In the letter of the law, there is one exception to the ban: If ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, sells the application to a company in a country not considered a “foreign enemy” of the United States.
However, before it comes into effect, the law may be challenged in court.
The NetChoice Association, which represents tech companies such as Meta, Twitter and Google, issued a statement calling the new law “clearly unconstitutional.” In response, TikTok added that the law “violates TikTok, a platform that empowers hundreds of thousands of people across the state, by unlawfully restricting the First Amendment rights of Montanans.”
While continuing to work to protect the rights of its users outside of Montana, the company added that it wants to ensure that Montana citizens can continue to use TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community. Now it is waiting to see if other states of the country will follow suit.
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