Montana’s Attempt to Ban TikTok Blocked by US Judge

Montana’s TikTok law faces uphill battle

Montana’s attempt to ban TikTok is facing criticism from tech experts, social justice groups, and law scholars. They argue that the state cannot prove that the Chinese government has access to or has misused U.S. TikTok user data. A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Internet Governance Project found that TikTok’s data harvesting methods are similar to those used by Facebook.

Jameel Jaffer, executive director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, believes the law could be declared unconstitutional without concrete proof of TikTok sharing user data with the Chinese government. The law, which would penalize Apple and Google for making TikTok available in Montana after January 1, 2024, is also facing challenges from tech industry representatives who claim it’s impossible to pull TikTok from one state while keeping it available in the rest of the country.

Experts also question how Montana could enforce the ban, especially with the use of VPNs to hide IP geolocations. Some argue that the responsibility for removing TikTok from Montana falls on the company itself, not Apple or Google. However, experts agree that removing TikTok from Montana without affecting users in other states will be a technological challenge.