A U.S. District judge has blocked an attempt by Montana State to ban TikTok in the state. The ban was initially passed in May and was scheduled to take effect on January 1st, 2024. Montana was the first U.S. state to pass the ban. However, Judge Donald Molloy deemed the ban unconstitutional. “It violates the Constitution in more ways than one,” he said.
Background about the case
TikTok has been under global scrutiny for several years as the U.S. government and citizens are concerned that the Chinese government is accessing their data. The app has more than 150 million users in the U.S., and most of them are teens and people in their 20s.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew assured that the app isn’t working with the Chinese government to spy on its users. Though, he did admit that TikTok had monitored the accounts of journalists.
In March, the U.S. government had urged ByteDance, the company that owned TikTok, to sell the app. Otherwise, they’ll face a potential nationwide ban. Meanwhile, Nepal banned TikTok last month, joining other countries such as India.
TikTok expressed satisfaction with the court’s ruling to reject the “unconstitutional law.” The platform believes that the decision will allow thousands of Montanans to continue expressing themselves and generate income.
Still, the state attorney’s office in Montana stated they are not giving up. They are currently thinking about their next steps to make sure the ban goes into effect to ensure there is no potential misuse of data by the Chinese Communist Party. However, ByteDance continues to deny that they are working with the Chinese government.
The recent court decision in Montana is the latest significant development in the ongoing legal challenges TikTok continues to face.