Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill Wednesday that bans TikTok from the state, becoming the first one to completely outlaw the social media app.
The Montana Legislature introduced Senate Bill 419 in late February to respond to the increasing national concerns over TikTok’s ties with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the fear the app could be used to steal sensitive information, according to the measure. SB419, sponsored by Montana Republican state Sen. Shelley Vance, passed the Legislature in April.
Gianforte announced on Twitter the ban of the social media app from the state to protect “Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.”
TikTok responded on Twitter with a statement attacking Montana’s bill as unconstitutional. “Governor Gianforte has signed a bill that infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people of #Montana by unlawfully banning #TikTok, a platform that empowers hundreds of thousands of people across the state.”
Under the bill, Montana bans the app from being used within the limits of the state, and the penalty for app stores violating the law would be “$10,000 for each discrete violation” and “$10,000 each day thereafter that the violation continues,” according to the measure. The law will take effect in 2024.
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