Montana’s movement to ban TikTok is receiving pushback from not only the app, but also groups who argue that the legislation infringes on Americans rights to free speech.
Although the law will not go into effect until January 2024, TikTok plans to have the motion overturned, according to NPR.
As a refresher, Montana officials’ concern is around Chinese officials having access to American’s data and subjecting minors to harmful content. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a technology company based in Beijing, and Montana speculates that the Chinese government is using TikTok to spy on Americans or influence their views of America.
In many states in the U.S., TikTok is already banned on government devices. Yet, Montana is the first to create a ban across its state borders on personal devices.
This law was met with criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union and digital rights advocacy groups who agree with TikTok’s lawyers that the legislation is a violation of Americans’ First Amendment rights.
While Montana cites the app to be a national security threat, TikTok’s lawsuit claims that their “extraordinary and unprecedented measures [are] based on nothing more than unfounded speculation.”
Cybersecurity experts are skeptical about the implementation and effectiveness of the law. Responsibility lies on companies like Apple and Google to stop putting TikTok on their app stores, but there could be issues of accidentally banning the app in other states as well as a multitude of other loopholes.
Nevertheless, this battle is also being closely observed by federal officials, as a ban of TikTok in one state could snowball into a ban of the app nationwide.