(SNews) – Montana’s Republican Governor Greg Gianforte has just signed new legislation into law to make the state the first to completely ban the Chinese Communist Party-linked social media app TikTok.
National security concerns have been mounting over the video-sharing platform due to its ties to China’s communist government.
President Donald Trump first attempted to ban the app in 2020 but his efforts were shut down by partisan Democrats.
Montana’s governor and Republican-led legislature have now put the force of law behind the first-ever U.S. state ban on TikTok.
BREAKING: Montana has become the first state to completely ban TikTok after the governor signed the most sweeping measure in the U.S. attempting to curtail the app. https://t.co/89gjAqmwJZ
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 17, 2023
The state’s Republican governor signed a measure that’s more sweeping than any other state’s attempts to curtail the social media app, the Associated Press reported.
The measure is expected to be challenged legally and will serve as a testing ground for the TikTok-free America that many national lawmakers have envisioned.
The state’s new law is different from Montana’s government-use ban, which is already in place.
When Montana banned the app on government-owned devices in late December, Gov. Gianforte said TikTok posed a “significant risk” against sensitive state data.
More than half of U.S. states and the federal government have a similar ban on official devices.
Montana’s new law prohibits downloads of TikTok in the state on any device.
The state will fine any “entity,” such as an app store or TikTok, $10,000 per day for each time someone “is offered the ability” to access the social media platform or download the app.
The penalties would not apply to users.
Montana lawmakers passed the bill with ease in mid-April.
The state House voted 54-43 to pass the bill.
TikTok was quick to react to the bill’s passage, with spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter saying in a statement:
“We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”