Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed a bill banning TikTok from operating in the state, a move that is expected to lead to free speech challenges in court.
The law makes Montana the first state to fully ban the app.
It is now against the law to download the app in the state, but users won't be penalized. App stores like those run by Apple or Google, or any other platform that offers apps for download, will face fines of $10,000 per day if they make TikTok available for download.
The TikTok ban is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
"Foreign adversaries’ collection and use of Montanans’ personal information and data from social media applications infringe on Montanans’ constitutionally guaranteed individual right to privacy," Gov. Gianforte said in a statement.TikTok says it plans to fight the new law. The ACLU of Montana has argued that the ban places unconstitutional restrictions on free speech.
Meanwhile, Gov. Gianforte also directed the state’s chief information officer and executive agency directors to prohibit the use of all social media applications tied to foreign adversaries on state equipment and for state business in Montana. This expands on a directive from last year, which specifically barred TikTok from use on government devices. The new directive takes effect June 1, 2023, six months earlier than the statewide ban on TikTok.
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