ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Judge blocks Montana’s TikTok ban from taking effect on January 1

Nov 30, 2023, 5:49 PM | Updated: May 28, 2024, 10:51 am

The TikTok logo is displayed on signage outside TikTok social media app company offices in Culver C...

The TikTok logo is displayed on signage outside TikTok social media app company offices in Culver City, California, on March 16. A federal judge on Thursday halted Montana’s TikTok ban, which was set to go into effect at the start of 2024.(Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)

(Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) — A federal judge on Thursday halted Montana’s TikTok ban, which was set to go into effect at the start of 2024.

In a filing, US District Judge Donald Molloy said that despite the state government’s attempt to defend the law, “the current record leaves little doubt that Montana’s legislature and Attorney General were more interested in targeting China’s ostensible role in TikTok than with protecting Montana consumers.”

Montana’s attorney general and governor’s offices did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The law, which was set to be the first of its kind in the nation, prohibited the app from operating within state lines, outlining potential fines of $10,000 per day for violators. It was signed into law by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte in May, who said the law was necessary to protect Montantans’ personal data “from the Chinese Communist Party.”

Montana’s law was challenged by TikTok and a group of the app’s content creators, who argued, in part, that the ban infringes on their First Amendment rights.

The decision comes as lawmakers grapple with TikTok’s ties to China. The social media app is owned by China-based ByteDance. Many US officials have expressed fears that the Chinese government could potentially access US data via TikTok for spying purposes, though there is so far no evidence that the Chinese government has ever accessed the personal information of US-based TikTok users.

The legal battle has been closely watched because it is viewed as a bellwether for TikTok’s future in the United States, where dozens of states and the US government have already banned the app on official devices but have so far refrained from blocking the app on private devices.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other state governments have attempted their own methods to reel in TikTok, which counts 150 million people in the United States as users, according to the company. On Thursday, another judge dismissed a lawsuit against TikTok filed by the state of Indiana, accusing the company of making false claims about the safety of user data and age-appropriate content. The judge in that case, Judge Jennifer DeGroote, said the court “lacks personal jurisdiction” over TikTok, according to court documents.

Montana’s attempted ban marked the furthest step yet by a state government to restrict TikTok over perceived security concerns.

At an October hearing, Molloy slammed Montana’s legislation as being driven by “paternalistic” views of social media users, suggesting lawmakers could have taken other steps short of an attempted ban to achieve their goals.

CNN’s Samantha Murphy Kelly and Brian Fung contributed to reporting.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Arts + Entertainment

The lawsuit was filed in Tallahassee minutes after a Disney World oversight board appointed by DeSa...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Disney debt

Financial advisors will warn you against going deep into debt. But sometimes you have to. It’s a part of life. And so is going to Disney.

1 day ago

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 01: Justin Timberlake performs onstage during the 2024 iHeartRadio Mu...

Mariah Maynes

Justin Timberlake arrested, accused of intoxicated driving

Justin Timberlake was arrested for intoxicated driving early Tuesday morning on New York's Long Island.

1 day ago

Van Halen was voted Utah's favorite dad rock band....

Mary Culbertson

Van Halen voted Utah’s ultimate ‘dad rock’ band in survey

A recent study surveyed Americans all over the U.S., asking them what band they would dub the “pinnacle of dad rock.”

3 days ago

Music and the Spoken word getting new voice...

Adam Small

Iconic voice of ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ to present his final program

Lloyd Newell who has presented "Music and the Spoken Word" for 35 years will be stepping down from his position.

5 days ago

tuesday movie poster next to ksl movie show host steve salles...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Tuesday’ is a movie you need to experience for yourself

In this KSL Movie Show review, we explore "Tuesday," which personifies death as a talking macaw.

5 days ago

ksl movie show host steve salles stands next to inside out 2 movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Inside Out 2’ is almost as good as the original

Is the long-anticipated movie "Inside Out 2" as good as the original? KSL Movie Show host Steve Salles says no, but it’s pretty darn close!

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Judge blocks Montana’s TikTok ban from taking effect on January 1