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Montana Bans TikTok
The Montana State Legislature has banned TikTok by a vote of 54 to 43 to take effect in January of 2024
The Montana State Legislature recently passed a bill, SB 419, which bans TikTok in their state. Specifically, it prohibits app stores from carrying the product with fines up to $10,000 per day every day until the app is removed .
TikTok has been under fire recently from lawmakers, prosecutors, and observes of social media alike for its practice. Many were troubled to learn that, while many social media companies share their users data, TikTok shares analytics on its customers with over a dozen unknown sources which is six times the industry standard . Lawmakers and policy experts have also raised alarm over the ability of TikTok to effect the voting patterns of users in the United States . Prosecutors have also taken notice with the FBI Director testifying recently that he is "extremely concerned" about TikTok  and various States Attorneys General investigating the platform for its effect on their users .
In response, Congress proposed the RESTRICT Act which, if passed, would authorize Secretary Gina Raimondo of the Commerce Department to review and prohibit "transactions" between individuals in the United States and "foreign adversaries". In practice the bill would give the Executive Branch sweeping powers to ban TikTok and any other app or website it believes foreign actors may use to impact the Country’s infrastructure or digital economy, sabotage or subvert the United States Government, interfere or manipulate in federal elections, and (more broadly) undermine the democratic process to "steer policy and regulatory decisions in favor of the strategic objectives of [said] adversary to the detriment of the national security of the United States" .
With all of this as a backdrop it is no surprise that states like Montana, and the political actors therein, want to take action against TikTok.
SB 419, which would take effect on January 1st, 2024, cites several reasons for the proposed ban including the Chinese governments stated goal of supplanting the United States as the dominant world superpower, the Chinese governments various espionage efforts in both the government and corporate sectors, and the significant amount of information collected by TikTok and it’s parent company, ByteDance, that can be access, controlled, and otherwise overseen by the Chinese government.
In response, ByteDance issued a statement that they would challenge the law and that the "bill's champions have admitted that they have no feasible plan for operationalising [sic.] this attempt to censor American voices and that the bill's constitutionality will be decided by the courts". They continued that they will “fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach," .
Governor Greg Gianforte (R), who previously banned the app from government devices, is expected to sign the bill setting the stage for a case that is likely to draw national if not international attention.