Montana isn’t really known for much. But a few months ago, it did what no state had been able to do: ban TikTok. Unfortunately for it, though, a judge says the move may violate free speech.
Montana was able to achieve this state-wide ban by convincing people they were trying to protect citizen’s data from the Chinese. This is due to TikTok being owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The claims have been refuted by the company. In 2020, they claimed “TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access.”
The ban was set to go live on January 1, 2024. It would have fined ByteDance and app stores $10,000 a day if violated. However, it doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon.
Reuters reports that US District Judge Donald Molloy put a pause on things which effectively blocks the ban. He said the ban “oversteps state power and infringes on the constitutional rights of users”. This is a win for five TikTok creators who challenged the law just after the bill was signed. ByteDance also has a lawsuit filed for this very issue.