Montana Passes Bill Banning TikTok Amid Concerns Over Privacy, China Ties
A logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Tokyo. InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The legislature of the US state of Montana banned social media application TikTok amid concerns about its privacy policies and ties to the Chinese government. The Montana House of Representatives passed the bill on Friday in a vote of 54-43. “Tiktok may not operate within the territorial jurisdiction of Montana,” the bill text said. The legislation prohibits entities from offering the option to download TikTok’s mobile application, according to the bill text. It further stipulates a $10,000 fine for each violation, with an additional $10,000 for every continued day of violation. However, the bill provides an exception for law enforcement, national security and “essential government uses” of the app permitted by the state’s governor. The bill is effective January 1, 2024 unless vetoed by Montana Governor Greg Gianforte. AmericasSenator Says White House Very Much ‘in Favor’ of Bill to Ban TikTok26 March, 17:59 GMTThe legislation cites ties between TikTok and parent company ByteDance, which is based in China, as reason for the ban. The Chinese government exercises control over ByteDance and can direct the company to share user information, including real-time physical user location data, the bill said. The legislation comes as other federal agencies and lawmakers have weighed bans on TikTok amid the privacy and national security concerns.Ahead of the bill’s passage, its authors acknowledged that the legislation would prompt legal challenges likely to go as far as the US Supreme Court. Critics of anti-TikTok legislations across the US have repeatedly argued that the bans enacted against the social media app amounts to censorship and violates First Amendment rights.