Montana is the first US state to ban TikTok entirely

Montana is the first US state to ban TikTok entirely

The governor of the US state of Montana has signed legislation banning the Chinese service ByteDance TikTok. This is intended to protect residents from the collection of sensitive data by Chinese secret services – so far it is the first US state to completely ban the popular social network on its territory.

    Image source: Eyestetix Studio/

Image source: Eyestetix Studio/

Specifically, within the state, Google and Apple will be required not to display the relevant application on their marketplaces, although there are no penalties for TikTok users yet. The ban comes into effect on January 1, 2024 and is likely to be challenged by TikTok in court, although the company itself has not yet commented on the news.

TikTok previously said in a statement that the new law violates the First Amendment to the US Constitution and the company will continue to work to protect the rights of users in Montana and beyond. It is worth noting that in the United States, the number of users of social networks makes up almost half of the population – about 150 million people. Not least because of this, local politicians are calling for a nationwide ban on such a “lever of influence”.

The app is known to be extremely popular among teenagers. So, according to the Pew Research Center, 67% of American teens ages 13-17 use TikTok, and 16% use it “almost constantly.” However, TikTok itself states that the “overwhelming majority” of users are over 18 years old. Although disputes flared up in March over whether the application collects data on Americans for China’s interests, the politicians’ position calling for a blanket ban on the service did not find general support in the US Congress. TikTok itself states that it will not pass on any information to the Chinese authorities, even if they ask for it.

Montana, with a population of just over a million, said it could fine TikTok for each violation and demand an additional $10,000 a day if violating the ban continues. Today, the app can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store and Google Play, where each violation also faces a $10,000 fine. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already called the law unconstitutional. With the new law, the governor and state legislature are trampling on the freedom of expression of hundreds of thousands of citizens who use self-expression, information-seeking and small business applications, according to an ACLU spokesman. It is well known that Donald Trump’s attempt to ban new TikTok and WeChat uploads in 2020 was challenged in court and the related regulations never came into effect.

However, TikTok has already been banned from the service devices of US government employees. In addition, the social network is working on the Project Texas initiative, in which Americans’ data is stored on servers in the United States operated by the American Oracle.

About the author

Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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