Montana Becomes First US State to Introduce Total Ban on TikTok, Citing Security Concerns

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The US state of Montana introduces a total ban on TikTok

Tiktok is under increasing political pressure because the platform belongs to the Bytedance group from China.

Quelle: Marijan Murat/dpa

The Montana House of Representatives has passed legislation banning the Chinese-developed social media app Tiktok. The application is suspected of giving the Chinese Communist Party access to user data.

In the US state of Montana, a total ban on the TikTok video platform, which will be unique in the entire country, is approaching. The House of Representatives passed a corresponding law on Friday (local time). It would go beyond the restrictions that a number of US states – including Montana – and the federal government have already imposed on the platform of the Chinese company ByteDance. These measures provide for a TikTok ban on service devices. Now Montana could become the first US state to completely ban the app.

The bill will now be sent to Republican Governor Greg Gianforte. On Friday he left open whether he wanted to sign them. Spokeswoman Brooke Metrione said the governor would “carefully” review any legislation that landed on his desk.

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If Gianforte puts his signature under the law, TikTok downloads would be banned in Montana by January 2024. Any chance of accessing or downloading the app would have to fine an app store or TikTok itself $10,000 a day. Users are not fined for violations. If Congress passes a federal ban by the end of the year, or if TikTok cuts its ties with China, Montana’s law would be null and void.

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The app operated by the Chinese group Bytedance is suspected of giving the Chinese Communist Party access to user data. In the US, there has long been concern that China could use TikTok to gather information about US users and spread pro-Chinese views or disinformation. ByteDance has denied the allegations. TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter announced a lawsuit against the law in Montana. Recently, several western states had banned public employees from using Tiktok on company cell phones.

With more than a billion users worldwide, Tiktok is particularly popular with the younger generation. The short video service has already overtaken other networks like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in terms of time spent on them.

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