Montana becomes the first US state to ban the use of TikTok | The USA Print

Montana becomes the first US state to ban the use of TikTok

Many times there is talk of putting doors to the sea or the desert. In Montana, a territory of endless prairies, they know well how impossible that task is. And despite everything, that territory has become the first to officially prohibit the use of TikTok in the United States, the most similar case of putting up walls in the unfathomable universe of social networks.

Its governor, Republican Greg Gianforte, made history this Wednesday by signing into law the project that restricts downloads of this immensely popular application, under suspicion for being an alleged tool of Russian espionage, a threat to social security and a propagator of problems. of mental health among adolescents, which even encourages suicide.

The law restricts downloads of this application, under suspicion for being a Russian espionage tool

The legislation, which was approved by the state chamber at the end of April and will take effect next January, makes it illegal for app stores (sites to download applications) to give users the option to download it and also illegal for the company operates within the state.

This law, which raises numerous doubts about its application and functionality, has every number of ending up in court on the grounds that it restricts freedom of expression, a principle enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Gianforte praised, however, the privacy protections provided by this regulation.

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“The Chinese Communist Party uses TikTok to spy on Americans, violates their privacy, and stores sensitive data and information from its users,” he said. According to his statement, this is “the most decisive action taken by any state.” In a tweet he remarked how proud he was to have taken this step: “I have banned TikTok in Montana.”

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Brooke Oberwetter, spokesperson for the platform, described this initiative as illegal and assured that this social network “empowers hundreds of thousands of people in Montana.” The company assured users in the state that they will be able to continue to use this platform to “express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue to work to advocate for our users inside and outside of Montana.”

During the chamber debate, a TechNet representative asserted that app stores “do not have state-by-state geofencing capability, making it impossible for restrictions to be enforceable.”

The spokeswoman already pointed out in April that the defenders of this legislation admitted that “they do not have a feasible plan to make operational this attempts to censor the voices of Americans.”

Each illegal download can carry a fine of 10,000 dollars

Violations of the ban include any time a user offers to download the app. Each violation can carry a $10,000 fine. Law enforcement will be handled by the state Department of Justice.

Gianforte has already banned the use of TikTok on government devices, thus joining the Biden administration, which decreed that it could not be used on federal online tools. Other states have gone down this route and are preparing regulations comparable to Montana’s.

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The White House asked the Chinese owners of TikTok a few months ago to sell the app or it would ban it in the United States over national security concerns. The stalking has gone even further with a group of legislators from both parties in Congress that is drawing up a regulation that restricts the use of this platform.

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