One of the worst states in the US to live in continues to impose authoritarian measures to ensure that information or freedom flows to the younger part of the population. – Under the guise of protecting young people, Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill banning TikTik on Wednesday after it first passed the state legislature.
The ban comes into force on 1 January 2024 and means that it will be illegal for the app stores of Google and Apple to offer Tiktok within Montana’s borders. For both Google owner Alphabet, Apple and Bytedance, the ban means daily fines of 10,000 dollars for each and every case where a person uses Tiktok or downloads the app.
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Gianforte states that the ban reinforces “our shared priority to protect the people of Montana from surveillance by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Bytedance, the Chinese company behind Tiktok, believes the ban violates the US Constitution. In a statement, Bytedance states that the company “will defend the rights of our users in and outside of Montana”.
Bytedance has previously denied that it provides information about its users to the Chinese authorities and that the company will not do so even if the authorities in China ask for it. – On Tiktok’s side are several democratic representatives in Congress, among them Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and various groups fighting for freedom of expression, among them the American Civil Liberties Union.
However, the ban could end up in US courts with arguments that it violates the First Amendment’s right to free speech. Former president and soon-to-be serial criminal Donald Trump tried to ban the download of the Chinese apps Tiktok and Wechat, but was stopped in the court system.