(TheLastPatriotNews.com) – Montana has become the first U.S. state to impose a total ban on TikTok, the video-sharing social media platform controlled by the regime of Communist China.
The measure that Montana’s Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed on Wednesday to prohibit the use of TikTok in the state is “more sweeping than any other state’s attempts” to limit the Chinese social media app, The Washington Times reports.
The report forecasts that Montana’s move will be “challenged legally,” and the outcome will test many U.S. legislators’ vision of a complete ban on TikTok in the United States.
“Some lawmakers, the FBI and officials at other agencies are concerned the video-sharing app, owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance, could be used to allow the Chinese government to access information on American citizens or push pro-Beijing misinformation that could influence the public,” The Times comments.
It notes that TikTok, which has had a Chinese Communist Party member on its board, has denied any spying and information harvesting targeting American citizens.
Over half of the 50 states have banned TikTok on government-owned devices, and so has the U.S. government.
In December 2022, when Montana prohibited TikTok from devices that are property of the state, Gianforte declared the Chinese-owned social media platform was a “significant risk” to sensitive state data.
Montana’s Republican-led legislature quickly passed the new full-fledged ban on TikTok earlier this year.
The newly signed state law bans any downloads of the Chinese social media app in the state. The legislation’s penalties do not apply to users.
However, it stipulates a daily $10,000 fine for any “entity” – such as an app store or TikTok – in any case in which a user in Montana “is offered the ability” to download the app or access the platform.
The report notes opponents of the ban criticize the measure by arguing that anyone “could easily circumvent the ban” through a VPN (a virtual private network). This service encrypts data traffic, thus protecting users’ web browsing and other online activities from being observed by others.
According to Montana state officials, geofencing technology is used with online gambling apps blocked in states that outlaw online gambling.
TikTok has made it clear it would challenge Montana’s law, and so have small business owners that used the platform linked to the Chinese Communist Party for advertising.
TikTok’s management has also claimed “it has a plan to protect U.S. users.”
Montana’s anti-TikTok bill has been opposed by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has attacked the legislation as “an unconstitutional restriction of free speech.”
“The app’s fun, goofy videos and ease of use has made it immensely popular,” The Washington Times points out.
It adds that U.S. tech giants such as Meta and Snapchat have been viewing TikTok as a “competitive threat.”
JUST IN: Montana becomes first U.S. state to ban TikTok https://t.co/MyA79aEVCC
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) May 17, 2023