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Montana Governor Bans TikTok within the State

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The governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte, signed a bill on Wednesday to ban TikTok from operating contained in the state, essentially the most extreme prohibition of the app within the nation and one that can almost actually be challenged in court.

“Today, Montana takes essentially the most decisive motion of any state to guard Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr. Gianforte, a Republican, said in a news release.

The Montana Legislature introduced the bill in February, resulting in months of debate. The proposal, which might affect on a regular basis users of the favored short-form video app, significantly escalated a national rush to ban TikTok on government devices based on concerns in regards to the company’s ownership by the Chinese company ByteDance. The battle over the bill offered a glimpse of what the USA might encounter nationally if lawmakers or the White House attempt a nationwide ban of TikTok, which has been floated in recent months. The Montana ban takes effect on Jan. 1.

TikTok, which says it has 7,000 employees in the USA, has been fighting back within the state for months. It has run ads featuring Montana small businesses that use TikTok and gave prewritten emails to users in order that they could contact Mr. Gianforte about opposing the bill.

The laws prohibits mobile app stores, like those run by Apple and Google, from offering TikTok throughout the state. A trade group funded by Apple and Google has said in recent months that it’s unimaginable for the businesses to stop access to TikTok in a single state.

“Governor Gianforte has signed a bill that infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana by unlawfully banning TikTok, a platform that empowers a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals across the state,” Brooke Oberwetter, a spokeswoman for TikTok, said in a press release on Wednesday. Montanans, she added, can keep using the app “as we proceed working to defend the rights of our users inside and out of doors of Montana.”

David McCabe contributed reporting.

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