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Federal judge blocks Montana's TikTok ban

The ban was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. 

Published: December 1, 2023 9:13am

A federal judge in Montana has blocked an upcoming state-wide ban on using the social media app TikTok, calling it unconstitutional. 

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said Thursday the ban on the app, whose ownership has ties to Communist-led China,  “oversteps state power and infringes on the Constitutional right of users and businesses."

The ban was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. 

“Despite the state’s attempt to defend (the law) as a consumer protection bill, 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,” Molloy wrote regarding the ruling, according to The Associated Press.

“This is especially apparent in that the same legislature enacted an entirely separate law that purports to broadly protect consumers’ digital data and privacy," the judge also said.

A spokesperson for TikTok,  Jamal Brown, said that he was pleased that the judge ruled against the "unconstitutional law."

A spokeswoman for Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said that Knudsen looks "forward to presenting the complete legal argument to defend the law that protects Montanans from the Chinese Communist Party obtaining and using their data.”

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