First U.S. State TikTok Ban Heads to Montana Governor’s Desk

John Perrino is a policy analyst at the Stanford Internet Observatory. The Montana state legislature passed a bill that effectively bans TikTok by prohibiting app store downloads and banning the company, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, from operating in the state.  The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Greg Gianforte after a 54-43 House vote on Friday afternoon. Gianforte is expected to sign the legislation into law despite likely legal challenges. He previously banned TikTok on state government devices. SB 419, titled “Banning TikTok in Montana,” would fine providers that make the app available for download in the state $10,000 each day they are in violation of the law. Otherwise set to go into effect on January 1, 2024, the legislation would be voided if TikTok is acquired by a U.S. company, or if a national ban is passed. Montana state legislators vote to ban TikTok. April 14, 2023. The Montana bill will face legal challenges before it is implemented. TikTok says the bill violates the First Amendment and that there is no practical means by which to implement it. Civil society groups including the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and TechFreedom issued a joint letter that says “SB 419 is censorship—it would unjustly cut Montanans off from a platform where they speak out and exchange ideas everyday, and it would set an alarming precedent for excessive government control over how Montanans use the internet.”  A national TikTok ban briefly…First U.S. State TikTok Ban Heads to Montana Governor’s Desk