Montana: First U.S State to Ban TikTok


      After recent cases and conflicts with the social media app TikTok, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has decided to take a step further by passing the state law Montana Senate Bill 419, banning the social media app from civilian devices. The bill will impose a $10,000 fine on TikTok for every day the app remains available in the state.

TikTok filed a lawsuit against Montana for banning the app for violating their civilian first amendment rights. However, Montana’s government stands behind its decision and “are fully prepared to defend the law that helps protect Montanans’ privacy and security,” (Emily Flower, spokesperson for Montana’s Attorney General).

       The media argues that this law is completely invalid because it’s not possible for an app store to prevent users from having access to a certain app based on their location, especially if the user does not have location services on. In order for this to work, state governments would need significantly more access to citizens’ online data.

At this point in time, TikTok is still available in the United States. An act was introduced called the RESTRICT Act which was only brought to the Senate in early March. However, even if this bill is eventually passed, the app will not be banned immediately.