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First US State: Montana Wants to Ban TikTok Completely

First US State: Montana Wants to Ban TikTok Completely

Status: 04/15/2023 09:04 am

The US state of Montana may introduce the nation’s first total ban on the TikTok app. The decision rests with the Governor. But the video site could be threatened across the US.

Concerns have been growing in the US for some time that the Chinese-made video platform TikTok could pose a security risk. Montana is the first US state to completely ban the app in the future.

The Montana House of Representatives passed legislation Friday evening that would allow TikTok to be banned entirely. If this is implemented, the app for the online platform launched by Chinese group Bytedance will not be available for download in app stores from next January. Additionally, TikTok may no longer operate as a corporation in the state. Users who installed the app on their cellphones before the law came into effect will not be affected by the new regulations.

Higher fines for planned violations

If providers continue to offer the app after the ban, either they or TikTok will have to pay a hefty fine: $10,000 per day. However, users will not be penalized for violations.

Montana’s governor, Greg Gianforte, will now decide whether a full ban will actually come. He initially left open whether he would agree to the law. His spokesman said Gianforte would examine the template “carefully.”

Official cell phones are already banned among public officials

Last December, the United States introduced a law banning employees of federal agencies from using TikTok on their company cell phones. The US is not an isolated case: in Denmark and Canada, short video usage is banned for government employees. The EU Commission also introduced such a ban for employees.

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The concern behind the ban: Security officials fear China could access sensitive data through the app. About three-and-a-half weeks ago, TikTok’s head, Sho Chi Siew, had to comment on these allegations before the US Congress. He assured that China has never received data from the US through this app and will never receive it.

Nevertheless, Democrats and Republicans have jointly drafted a bill that could result in a complete ban on the video platform across the United States. The US Congress must decide on this by the end of this year.