State officials say the app allows China to spy on and manipulate users
Montana passed legislation on Friday to ban TikTok, becoming the first US state to do so. SB419, which received 54 votes in favor and 43 against, has yet to be signed into law by the state’s Republican governor. Montana officials believe the app allows China to spy on and manipulate users. Text orders mobile application stores (Apple and Google) not to distribute TikTok from January 1, 2024. However, the constitutionality of this law can be challenged in court and is unlikely to be applied as such.
Opponents of the law say it is unconstitutional and impractical on free speech grounds because it exempts Internet service providers and VPNs, and is driven by anti-Chinese bias. Some believe that the criticism leveled at TikTok for data privacy, misinformation and potential health risks applies to other social networks as well. The TikTok app has been denying China’s spying allegations for years.
The White House recently encouraged TikTok to seek a US corporate buyout solution to continue operating in the US. Joe Biden’s administration is debating bills to ban the app, but these go beyond banning TikTok and give the government more powers to monitor Americans’ activities on the networks.
Meanwhile, Montana residents can download the app using VPNs or when moving closer to the border of neighboring states.
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