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The Future of Tech Bans

 |  May 29, 2023

By: Tate Ryan-Mosley (MIT Technology Review)

Could we be heading towards a future where we’ll have to delete and reinstall specific apps every time we cross state borders? What lies ahead for TikTok bans and are they even enforceable?

The app has been under intense scrutiny from US policymakers in recent months due to concerns regarding Chinese espionage. However, Montana’s ban takes the spotlight as the most dramatic action thus far. The legislators designed the law to specifically target app marketplaces such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Starting on January 1, 2024, these companies could potentially face a daily fine of $10,000 if they continue to offer TikTok to users in Montana.

Many commentators, politicians, and technology experts have dismissed the ban as absurd, unconstitutional, and driven by xenophobia. Unsurprisingly, it is already facing legal challenges. TikTok filed a lawsuit against Montana on Monday, following a suit filed by a group of users, citing Constitutional grounds for their opposition…