The US state of Montana is the first state in the US to ban the Chinese TikTok app, after the governor signed legislation that prohibits mobile app stores from offering it to the public.
This step is one of the most dramatic steps in a series of steps taken by the US against Tiktok, which is owned by the Chinese technology company Bytedance. Tiktok is suspected due to its ties to China, and the fear in the US is that it may pose a national security threat to the United States.
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The federal government and more than half of the states in the United States have banned the use of the application on government devices, and the Biden administration has even threatened a national boycott unless TikTok’s parent company sells its shares. Bytedance denies sharing information with the Chinese government, saying the company would not do so even if asked.
TikTok issued a statement saying that the Montana law “violates the First Amendment rights of state residents by illegally confiscating TikTok” and that the company plans to “protect the rights of its users inside and outside of Montana.”
The Montana law will go into effect on January 1 and will include a ban on TikTok downloads in the state. Whoever does this, an app store or TikTok, will be fined in the amount of ten thousand dollars per day for every time that “the option is offered to the user” to gain access to the platform or download the application. The fines will not apply to the users.
Montana also banned the use of all social networking apps that collect and provide personal information or data to foreign advertisers or governments, including China’s WeChat and Russian-founded Telegram.
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