OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images
- On Friday, Montana became the first US state to pass legislation banning TikTok within state lines.
- The bill bans TikTok on nearly all personal devices and also bars app stores from offering TikTok.
- The bill is pending a signature from Montana’s governor, Greg Gianforte, but would go into effect in 2024.
On Friday, Montana legislators voted in favor of a bill to ban TikTok within state lines.
Montana’s House of Representatives voted 54-43 in favor of the bill on Friday afternoon after the state Senate approved the bill back in March, according to Helena news station KTVH.
The bill is now pending approval from Montana’s governor Greg Gianforte. If signed, it’ll take effect starting January 2024.
The bill, known as SB 419, effectively bans TikTok from all personal devices and also bars app stores from offering TikTok within the state. According to the bill, each discrete violation of the ban will result in a $10,000 fee, plus an additional $10,000 for each day the violation continues.
Montana already banned the use of TikTok on state devices last year.
According to KTVH, Senator Shelley Vance, one of SB 419’s primary sponsors, said in February that “after years of investigative reporting we now know this to be true, TikTok endangers the safety of Montanans and Americans at large.”
Vance added, “We know that beyond a doubt that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is operating as a surveillance arm of the Chinese Communist Party and gathers information about Americans against their will.”
TikTok, meanwhile, is preparing to challenge the ban.
While the company did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for a comment, a spokesperson told the Journal that the company will “continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”
Other groups like the American Civil Liberties Union are also protesting Montana’s bill. In a letter sent to members of Montana’s House of Representatives on Tuesday, the ACLU argued that the ban will violate the First Amendment rights of the “hundreds of thousands of Montanans who use the app to communicate, gather information, and express themselves daily.”
The vote is significant because it may lay the groundwork for other states to follow, though it still remains unclear how parts of the ban will be enforced in Montana.
The office of Governor Gianforte did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for a comment.