The TikTok ban in the United States has begun.
According to NBC News, the state of Montana is the first in the U.S. to pass a law that would restrict users from downloading the popular social media platform.
Following legislation that was passed in April, Gov. Greg Gianforte has officially signed a bill that makes it illegal for users to be given the option to download TikTok from their respective app stores.
“The Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information is well-documented,” Gianforte said in a news release.
He also shared a tweet explaining his reasoning behind signing the law, which he referred to as “the most decisive action of any state.”
“To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana,” Gianforte wrote.
To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana.
— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) May 17, 2023
As previously reported by AfroTech, in December 2022, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to ban the social media giant from all U.S. government devices. The legislation was brought forth by Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley.
Why Do Legislators Want To Ban TikTok?
“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party,” Sen. Hawley said at the time. “It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices. States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”
On the other hand, Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for the video app, alleges that the bill is “unlawful” and stated that TikTok “empowers hundreds of thousands of people across the state.”
“We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” Oberwetter said.
If the ban is violated, residents could face consequences.
“Violations of a ban include every time a user is offered the ability to download the app. Each violation could carry a $10,000 penalty. Enforcement would be handled by the Montana Justice Department,” NBC News reports.