Montana’s TikTok fans can now breathe a sigh of relief. A US judge has stepped in and stopped the state’s move to ban the widely used video-sharing app, citing concerns that the ban likely breaches constitutional rights.

The US District Judge Donald Molloy has granted TikTok a temporary injunction against Montana, indicating that the proposed bill, Senate Bill 419, infringes on the right to free speech as protected by the First Amendment. In his ruling, Judge Molloy expressed that the ban unfairly singles out TikTok without proper legal process, deeming it unconstitutional.

Additionally, he highlighted that the cited data practices are not significantly different from those of other platforms and are readily available in the data broker market. Molloy stressed that the state’s action overstepped, delving into matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, such as national security and foreign commerce.

By questioning the state’s intentions, Molloy suggested that Montana’s focus was more on targeting China’s perceived involvement in TikTok rather than genuinely prioritizing consumer protection.

TikTok responded to the decision by expressing, “We are glad the judge rejected this unconstitutional law, and hundreds of thousands of Montanans can continue to express themselves, earn a living, and find community on TikTok.”

Examining Montana’s Law

Senate Bill 419, signed by Governor Greg Gianforte, sought to impose significant fines on TikTok and app stores providing the platform in Montana, effectively making its operation in the state unfeasible. TikTok promptly contested the bill, ultimately gaining legal victory against the state’s endeavor to enforce it.

Looking to the Future

While this legal dispute may have paused for now, the clash between state legislation and digital innovation underscores the ongoing convergence of technology, laws, and the freedom of expression.

Topics: TikTok


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