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US judge blocks ban on TikTok in Montana

US judge blocks ban on TikTok in Montana

As of: December 1, 2023 3:09 am

A US federal judge has temporarily halted the country’s unique total ban on the TikTok platform in Montana. By such a law the State oversteps its authority.

A U.S. federal judge has blocked the nation’s first blanket ban on the online platform TikTok in Montana. Judge Donald Molloy found that the ban oversteps the state’s authority and violates the constitutional rights of users and companies.

The restriction will therefore be suspended pending appeal against the Act.

Concerns about China’s data collection

Montana’s Republican-controlled legislature approved an initiative in May to ban TikTok downloads in the state starting in January 2024. Any actor, such as the App Store or TikTok, that makes access to the video platform possible will be fined $10,000 per day. Users do not face any penalty for violations.

The background is concerns that China’s chief user information could be accessed by the popular app, whose parent company, ByteDance, is based in Beijing. There are also fears that TikTok could spread pro-Chinese views or misinformation.

Tik Tok: Montana wants to implement its own foreign policy

Montana is the first US state to completely ban the app. TikTok’s lawyers countered in October, arguing that those in charge in Montana were “absolutely overstepping their bounds” in trying to regulate the app. With this approach, the government is effectively seeking to enforce its own foreign policy, although there is no evidence that TikTok is sharing user data with the Chinese leadership, they explained.

Montana State Attorney Christian Corrigan explained that the state is very concerned about addressing serious and widespread concerns about data security.

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