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Montana bans TikTok: the new law explained, when it goes into effect and possible fines

Montana has become the first state in the United States to ban TikTok. Here what the ban consists of and when it comes into force.

Montana se ha convertido en la primera entidad de Estados Unidos en prohibir TikTok. Aquí en qué consiste la prohibición y cuándo entra en vigor.
DADO RUVICREUTERS

On Wednesday, Montana officially became the first entity in the United States to ban TikTok. Governor Greg Gianforte signed the bill, which could face challenges in court, arguing a restriction on free speech

“To protect the personal and private data of Montanans from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana,” Governor Gianforte shared Wednesday afternoon.

Montana bans TikTok: what the law is and fines

The legislation, which was passed by the state legislature in April, makes it illegal for app stores to give users the option to download TikTok. It also makes it illegal for the company to operate within the state.

When the bill passed last month, TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter said: We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach,”, according to a report by NBC News.

The law specifies that no penalties apply to users of TikTok, but app store operators and TikTok itself could face fines of $10,000 per violation per day, with an individual violation defined as “each time that a user accesses TikTok, is offered the ability to access TikTok, or is offered the ability to download TikTok.” Enforcement would be handled by the Montana Department of Justice.

The ban goes into effect on 1 June.

TikTok is not the only banned app

According to Gov. Greg Gianforte, the ban was extended to apps that provide information to “foreign adversaries.”

“TikTok is just an app tied to foreign adversaries. Today I have directed the state’s CIO to ban any app that provides personal information or data to foreign adversaries of the state network,” he shared on Twitter.

Some examples of applications that operate in the United States, but are related to “foreign adversaries” are:

  • CapCut, Lemon8 and Tiktok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance
  • Telegram Messenger, founded in Russia
  • Temu, owned by the Chinese company Pinduoduo
  • WeChat, owned by the Chinese company Tencent