Montana, the first US state to ban TikTok | The USA Print

Montana, the first US state to ban TikTok

Montana on Wednesday became the first US state to completely ban TikTokafter Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a measure that is broader than any other entity’s attempts to restrict the social media app.

It is foreseeable that the measure will face legal challenges and serve as the testing ground for the free TikTok country that many national legislators have envisioned.

Some lawmakers, FBI officials and other agencies are concerned that heThe video-sharing application, which is owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, could be used to allow the Chinese government to access information from US citizens or promote pro-Beijing disinformation that could influence the public. TikTok ensures that this has never happened.

When Montana banned the app on government-owned devices last December, Gov. Gianforte, a Republican, noted that TikTok posed a “significant risk” to sensitive state information. More than half of the states in the country, as well as the federal government, have implemented a similar restriction.

Gianforte signed the bill into law after it easily passed the Montana legislaturewith a Republican majority.

The new one law of Montana prohibits the downloading of TikTok in the state and will impose fines of $10,000 a day on any “entity” — an app store or TikTokwhenever someone is offered the possibility to access the social media platform or download the application. Users would not be penalized.

Opponents argue that this is government overreach and say that state residents could easily evade the restriction by using a virtual private network, a service that protects internet users by encrypting their traffic data, preventing others from watching. your online activities. Montana state officials say geofencing technology is used with sports betting apps, which are disabled in states where online gambling is illegal.

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TikTokwhich has said it plans to protect American users, has vowed to fight the measure, along with small business owners who say they use the app for advertising purposes to help grow their businesses and reach more users. The ACLU of Montana opposed the measure, saying it was an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

The app’s humorous videos and ease of use have made it hugely popular, and US tech giants like Snapchat and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, see it as a competitive threat.

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