Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has signed a bill to ban TikTok from operating in the state. This is the first time a governor in the United States will sign that kind of bill into law. The bill, known as SB419, prohibits any form of TikTok establishment from operating "within the territorial jurisdiction of Montana." They also demanded that mobile phone stores operating within the state remove the app from their app stores.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte announced the TikTok regulation on Twitter, saying, "To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana."
TikTok spokesperson Brooke Ober then responded with her own statement on Twitter, claiming that the Montana Governor was illegally infringing on the first amendment rights of the Montana people. "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. We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana," Brooke Ober claimed on Twitter.
What Does the SB419 Law Say?
The SB419 law is pretty simple as it states its demands quite clearly. It says that TikTok is banned from the state of Montana, and every operation involving the app is banned from the state. It also admonishes mobile app stores from having TikTok in their stores for downloads.
Before the bill was passed, it wanted even network providers to limit users from accessing the app. However, this aspect of the bill didn't make it to the final stages. Every other part of the bill made it to the final stages and was signed into law.
The bill didn't specify any punishment for users disobeying the law. Instead, TikTok and app store providers will pay all the violations of these laws. Each violation can attract penalties of up to $10,000 in fines. The law states that "each time that a user accesses TikTok, is offered the ability to access TikTok, or is offered the ability to download TikTok," the app store providers or TikTok themselves may pay up to $10,000 in fines.
Why the TikTok Ban?
The Montana Tiktok ban has raised many questions from citizens and critics. One of the bill's arguments is that TikTok fails to protect minors from the negative trends on the platform.
"Throwing objects at moving automobiles, taking excessive amounts of medication, lighting a mirror on fire and then attempting to extinguish it using only one’s body parts, inducing unconsciousness through oxygen deprivation, cooking chicken in NyQuil, pouring hot wax on a user’s face, attempting to break an unsuspecting passerby’s skull by tripping him or her into landing face first into a hard surface, placing metal objects in electrical outlets, swerving cars at high rates of speed, smearing human feces on toddlers, licking doorknobs and toilet seats to place oneself at risk of contracting coronavirus, attempting to climb stacks of milkcrates, shooting passersby with air rifles, loosening lug nuts on vehicles, and stealing utilities from public places," the bill stated.