Montana passes bill to ban TikTok over national security concerns

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Montana has become the first state in the US to pass a bill that would ban TikTok over concerns that the Chinese government could access American user data. The Republican-controlled Montana House of Representatives approved the bill on Friday and sent it to Governor Greg Gianforte, who can now sign it into law.

If enacted, the ban would not start until January 2024. However, a federal court challenge from TikTok is expected well before then, with the possibility of the case eventually winding up in front of the US Supreme Court.

The bill makes it illegal to download TikTok in Montana, with penalties of up to $10,000 a day for any entity that makes the app available, such as Apple and Google’s app stores or TikTok itself. Critics of the bill, including the ACLU, have called the move a violation of free speech rights that “would set an alarming precedent for excessive government control over how Montanans use the internet.”

Supporters of the ban have pointed to a 2017 Chinese intelligence law that requires private companies to hand over data about customers to the government if requested. TikTok has pushed back against the possibility that it would comply with such a request. Nevertheless, concerns about the app’s ownership by China’s ByteDance have led the Biden administration and lawmakers in Washington to view TikTok as a potential national security threat.

Last month, White House officials told TikTok to divest from its Beijing-based corporate parent company, ByteDance, or risk facing a nationwide shutdown. Congress is also considering a bill that would give the Department of Commerce the ability to ban apps controlled by “foreign adversaries,” a label that could apply to TikTok.

The aggressive crackdown on TikTok in Montana represents a growing trend of concern about the app’s potential for misuse of user data. Despite the lack of publicly available evidence suggesting that Chinese officials have attempted to access TikTok’s data, lawmakers and officials remain wary of the app’s ownership by ByteDance. With the potential for a legal battle in Montana, the debate over TikTok’s future in the US is likely to continue for some time.

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Montana passes bill to ban TikTok over national security concerns

Montana has become the first state in the US to pass a bill that would ban TikTok over concerns that the Chinese government could access American user data. The Republican-controlled Montana House of Representatives approved the bill on Friday and sent it to Governor Greg Gianforte, who can now sign it into law.

If enacted, the ban would not start until January 2024. However, a federal court challenge from TikTok is expected well before then, with the possibility of the case eventually winding up in front of the US Supreme Court.

The bill makes it illegal to download TikTok in Montana, with penalties of up to $10,000 a day for any entity that makes the app available, such as Apple and Google’s app stores or TikTok itself. Critics of the bill, including the ACLU, have called the move a violation of free speech rights that “would set an alarming precedent for excessive government control over how Montanans use the internet.”

Supporters of the ban have pointed to a 2017 Chinese intelligence law that requires private companies to hand over data about customers to the government if requested. TikTok has pushed back against the possibility that it would comply with such a request. Nevertheless, concerns about the app’s ownership by China’s ByteDance have led the Biden administration and lawmakers in Washington to view TikTok as a potential national security threat.

Last month, White House officials told TikTok to divest from its Beijing-based corporate parent company, ByteDance, or risk facing a nationwide shutdown. Congress is also considering a bill that would give the Department of Commerce the ability to ban apps controlled by “foreign adversaries,” a label that could apply to TikTok.

The aggressive crackdown on TikTok in Montana represents a growing trend of concern about the app’s potential for misuse of user data. Despite the lack of publicly available evidence suggesting that Chinese officials have attempted to access TikTok’s data, lawmakers and officials remain wary of the app’s ownership by ByteDance. With the potential for a legal battle in Montana, the debate over TikTok’s future in the US is likely to continue for some time.

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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