Montana Signs Ban on TikTok Usage on Personal Devices

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Montana’s Governor Greg Gianforte has officially signed into law a ban on TikTok usage from personal devices. 

The legislation, set to take effect on January 1, 2024, prohibits individuals in the state from accessing the popular video-sharing platform.

Read more on this ban here: Montana Becomes First US State to Pass TikTok Ban

Commenting on the news, a TikTok spokesperson said the ban violates the First Amendment rights of Montana residents. Because of this, the company plans to challenge the legislation in court.

“We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” reads a statement by the firm.

Lorraine Kenny from the Knight First Amendment Institute echoed TikTok’s views, saying that using TikTok to post and view content is a clear exercise of First Amendment rights for people in Montana.

“Because Montana can’t establish that the ban is necessary or tailored to any legitimate interest, the law is almost certain to be struck down as unconstitutional,” Kenny added.

However, escalating concerns surrounding data privacy and the potential for Chinese government surveillance have triggered intensified scrutiny of the video-sharing platform on a global scale. These spark from the fact that Chinese media giant, ByteDance, owns TikTok.

Governor Gianforte, a Republican, claims that the ban aligns with efforts to safeguard Montanans from Chinese Communist Party surveillance.

Still, while the law prohibits app stores from offering TikTok, it does not restrict existing users from utilizing the app, which currently has around 150 million users in the United States.

In March, a congressional committee interrogated TikTok CEO, Shou Zi Chew, about the possibility of Chinese government influence and data access. Chew denied the spying allegations but confessed to employee misuse of TikTok accounts.

Editorial image credit: salarko /

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