Ky. AG joins 18-state coalition supporting TikTok ban
Published 10:30 am Friday, September 29, 2023
Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday he has joined an 18-state coalition in an amicus (Friend of the Court) brief to support a Montana law that bans the social media app TikTok within the state.
Launched in 2017, Cameron’s office says TikTok induces users to share personal data that can be accessed by the Chinese government, that is, the Chinese Communist Party. It is both highly addictive and dangerous for children, with frequent use associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety. Confronted with these grave privacy and public safety threats, Montana passed Senate Bill 419 to ban TikTok within the state.
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“TikTok poses real risks to our children while enabling the Chinese government to access users’ personal data,” Cameron said. “I joined this coalition to ensure states have the ability to protect their citizens from these grave harms.”
In their brief, the attorneys general say they support Montana’s ability to ban TikTok, as the state has an obligation to protect its citizens’ health and privacy from foreign threats. The coalition concludes by asking the United States District Court for the District of Montana to uphold the challenged law. “TikTok harms children,” the brief says. “This Court should not [do away with] a law that is crucial for protecting [our] most vulnerable citizens.”
The Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation (Senate Bill 20) earlier this year which bans Tik-Tok from any state government computer network or any state government-issued devices that can access the internet, including computers, cellphones and tablets. The measure left it up to the judicial branch to see if they wanted to impose a Tik-Tok ban themselves. The final vote was 34-0 in the Senate and 96-3 in the House, after which Gov. Andy Beshear signed the bill into law.