Montana passes ban on Tik Tok, but how will it enforce it?

Originally published at: Montana passes ban on Tik Tok, but how will it enforce it? | Boing Boing


Thanks Montana! You just moved the headstones but left the bodies.


OK, it sounds really hard to enforce. But on the other hand, don’t tech companies always say that attempts to regulate them are impossible, when in fact they would merely require them to do more work than they’re willing to do?


Commenting on Youtube should be at least a misdemeanor. :slight_smile:


They act like they don’t have location data for most phones. This would definitely be some work to implement and it would not be close to fail-safe, but you’re right, this could be done state-by-state. It’s like when a company insists that raising wages will force price increases when OF COURSE there is another option which is to take fewer profits and pay smaller dividends. It’s not like we can’t do math.


Tik Tok will F you up, how about this AR15 instead?


If only they had enough bravery to just shut off services for anyone with a Montana Zip - I wonder how long it would take to reverse the stupid laws?


remember folks, these are the folks that bang on ad infinitum about SMALL GUVMUNT and FREEDUM.


illegal for app stores to give users the option to download the app and also illegal for the company to operate within the state.

As the companies have said “nope” to the first part, leaving it dead in the water, all that’s left is that the company can’t operate within the state. Well, gosh, I guess that puts an end to any plans Tik Tok had to open up a Montana office… oh right, yeah, they never had any.

Less than that - I think they just mandated that someone should write “not a headstone” on all the headstones (but didn’t specify who should do it, so nothing actually changes).


This would seem to have some serious interstate commerce issues. I’m pretty sure very few transactions involving the download or purchase of apps from an app store in the state of Montana take place solely in the state of Montana.


Let’s not encourage the Republicans to demand such policies on the App Store - it would be about 30 seconds later that bans would be put in place for apps assisting people with birth control or aimed at supporting minority communities.

The tech companies should fight any attempt at such restrictions with all their might.


Yeah, this seems like a MAJOR issue with this Montana law. The Commerce Clause is gonna supersede any state laws about what is or is not allowed to be delivered from other states (and as you and others have pointed out, the major app store servers are VERY unlikely housed in Montana territory). The only thing I can think of that’s an exception to this is alcohol, but that state right is SPECIFICALLY enumerated by the second clause of the 21st Amendment.


It’s even worse than that. They just moved one headstone and they did it because it was in Chinese. They’re allegedly concerned about privacy issues because TikTok is ultimately owned by the Chinese government, but those exact same privacy issues exist for Facebook and Twitter and nearly every social media platform out there, but they’re not concerned about what these private, for-profit corporations are doing with the data?

There are very real issues with data privacy in social media, but these issues are much bigger than one foreign government. We need to deal with these issues for all social media, not single one out because of xenophobia.


“The bill is now headed to Gov. Greg Gianforte”

A guy who can go from assaulting a reporter and marketing special toilet bowls for “big men” to the Governor’s Mansion can do anything.


You’re saying that now China will have to buy their Montana data to influence the next election from Twitter? Ah, new revenue streams!

I’d be curious as to why they decided to drop ISP/telco requirements.

There’s not much an ISP can do about access to a specific app in a store(unless yours isn’t using TLS for some insane reason and so the ISP can see full URLs rather than just opaque chatter about something between you and either Cupertino or Mountain View; but there’s a lot more they could do, if so motivated, about chatter between in-state devices and various ByteDance properties; and most apps that aren’t games are basically a cache and some extra privacy violations built around a webview; so hitting traffic problems would break the app pretty quickly.

Is ‘Big Tech’ just evil, far away, and not aligned with their fundraising efforts while ISPs are local everywhere and (even more so than usual, as somewhat-regulated oligopolies with intense requirements for easements and spectrum and stuff) Very Politically Active?

It’s also interesting that they chose to go with ‘block; but if you have it you can keep it’. It’s not a big secret that either Apple or Google can (though rarely do) disable already installed applications remotely; and as a purely technical matter disabling App X for account list Y is probably no more difificult than just blocking installs of App X for account list Y. Is there some explicit notion of grandfathering at play? Do they not know that? Would they prefer to avoid using the really scary capability out of the gate because it makes people jumpy?

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