Montana has become the first state in the United States to approve legislation limiting the use of TikTok on personal devices. Governor Greg Gianforte signed the legislation on May 17, 2023, after lawmakers approved it by a vote of 54 to 43. The prohibition goes into force on January 1, 2024.
Governor Gianforte emphasized the need of protecting Montanans from potential Chinese Communist Party spying. The measure comes after the state prohibited the use of TikTok on official devices in December. Although the restriction does not impact users who already have TikTok installed, it does make the program inaccessible for installation from app stores.
The Montana ban follows a series of questions, threats, and ultimatums from the US government to ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company on national security and the potential of data breaches. However, ByteDance has continuously denied suspicions that it is controlled by the Chinese government.
TikTok is anticipated to file a legal challenge against the legislation, setting up a major legal showdown between the state of Montana and the tech giant. It is contending and underlining that the restriction violates the people of Montana’s First Amendment rights. It went on to emphasize its importance in the state as a platform for self-expression, livelihood, and community development.
The sources for this piece include an article in BBC.