Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Montana Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning TikTok Over Concerns of Chinese Government Access to User Data

Montana to become the first state in the U.S. to ban the use of TikTok. (Photo: Harvard)

Montana has become the first state in the US to pass a bill banning TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance, from operating in the state.


Montana to become the first state in the U.S. to ban the use of TikTok. (Photo: Harvard)

Montana House and Senate Passed the Bill that Bans TikTok

The bill was passed by the Montana House with a 54-43 vote, and the Senate passed the bill in March with a 30-20 vote. The proposal is more sweeping than bans in place in nearly half the states and the federal government, which prohibit TikTok on government devices.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has already banned TikTok on government devices in Montana. In response to the bill’s passage, a TikTok spokesperson said that the bill’s champions have admitted that they have no feasible plan for operationalizing this attempt to censor American voices and that the bill’s constitutionality will be decided by the courts, according to a report published in CBS News.

Supporters of the ban point to concerns that TikTok could hand over user data to the Chinese government or push pro-Beijing propaganda and misinformation on the platform. Congress is considering legislation that doesn’t call out TikTok but gives the Commerce Department the ability to restrict foreign threats on tech platforms.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen had urged state lawmakers to pass the bill because he was not sure Congress would act quickly on a federal ban. Montana’s ban would not take effect until January 2024 and would be void if Congress passes a ban or if TikTok severs its Chinese connections.

READ ALSO: Students Arrested After TikTok Videos Simulating Mass Shootings Went Viral

What the Bill Prohibits in Using TikTok?

In a published article published in CNN, the bill would prohibit downloads of TikTok in Montana and would fine any “entity” – an app store or TikTok – $10,000 per day for each time someone “is offered the ability” to access the social media platform or download the app. The penalties would not apply to users. Opponents argued the bill amounted to government overreach and that residents could easily circumvent the proposed ban by using a Virtual Private Network.

TikTok has been pushing back against the bill, encouraging users in the state to speak out against the legislation and hiring lobbyists to do so as well. The company has also purchased billboards, run full-page newspaper ads, and has a website opposing Montana’s legislation. Some ads placed in local newspapers highlight how local businesses were able to use the app to drive sales.

READ ALSO: Texas Woman Uses Her $1,200 Stimulus Check To Reach Nearly $1 Million

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *