Tiktok: Montana to become first US state to ban TikTok


Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a ban bill into law on Wednesday Chinese-owned TikTok This makes China the first US state to ban the popular short video app.
Montana will make the offer unlawful in the Google and Apple app stores Tick ​​tock within the state, but no penalties will be imposed on people using the app. The ban is set to take effect on January 1, 2024 and will almost certainly face legal challenges.
TikTok, owned by a Chinese tech company ByteDancedid not respond to a question from Reuters about whether legal action was planned.
Previously, TikTok issued a statement saying the new law “violates the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana by unlawfully banning TikTok,” and said it “will continue to work to protect the rights of our users.” to defend inside and outside of Montana”.
TikTok, which has over 150 million American users, is facing increasing calls from US lawmakers and state officials for the app to be banned nationwide over concerns that the Chinese government could influence the platform.
The app is very popular among teenagers. According to the Pew Research Center, 67% of US teens ages 13-17 use TikTok, and 16% of all teens say they use the app almost constantly. TikTok stated that the “vast majority” of its users are over the age of 18.
In March, a congressional committee questioned TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew about whether the Chinese government could access user data or affect what Americans see on the app. But calls to ban TikTok nationwide or to give the Biden administration new powers to crack down on TikTok or ban it have not gotten through Congress.
Gianforte, a Republican, said the bill will advance “our shared priority of protecting Montans from Chinese Communist Party surveillance.”
TikTok has repeatedly denied ever sharing data with the Chinese government, saying the company would not do so if asked.
Freedom of speech “trampled”
Montana, which is home to just over a million people, said TikTok could face fines for each violation and an additional $10,000 a day in fines if it violated the ban.
The short video app can be downloaded from app stores on Apple Inc. and Google devices. Apple and Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., could also face fines of $10,000 per violation per day for violating the ban.
Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called the law “unconstitutional” and noted that if the courts don’t act, it will go into effect on January 1.
“With this ban, Gov. Gianforte and the Montana Legislature have trampled on the free speech of hundreds of thousands of Montanans who use the app to express themselves, gather information and run their small business in the name of anti-Chinese sentiment,” Keegan told Medrano , political director of the ACLU of Montana, in a statement.
An attempt by the former President donald trump A Commerce Department order banning new downloads from TikTok and WeChat in 2020 was blocked by multiple courts and never went into effect.
TikTok’s free speech allies include several Democratic congressmen, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and First Amendment groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union.
Carl Szabo, general counsel of industry group NetChoice, also criticized the new law. “The government must not prevent us from accessing constitutionally protected expressions of opinion — whether in a newspaper, on a website, or through an app,” he said in a statement, adding that Montana “requires the U.S. Constitution, due process and ignores free speech”.
Gianforte, who had tried to persuade the state parliament to extend the ban to other social media applications that share certain data with foreign opponents, also banned the use of all social media applications that collect personal information or data and to foreign opponents of the state government pass on -issued devices.
TikTok is working on an initiative called Project Texas, which will create a standalone entity to store American user data in the US on servers owned by US tech company Oracle.

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