Montana has become the first U.S. state to ban the China-owned app TikTok. Governor Greg Gianforte (R) announced Wednesday that he has singed legislation in order to protect his state’s residents from “the Chinese Communist Party.”
“To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana,” Gov. Gianforte said in a tweet.
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
The governor signed Senate Bill 419 — which bans the Chinese app from operating within Montana’s borders — into law on Wednesday, according to a report by KTVH. The ban will go into effect on January 1, 2024.
“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.
“Today, Montana takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party,” the governor added.
The law will reportedly let the Montana Department of Justice fine app stores or TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, $10,000 for each discrete violation, and $10,000 for each day that a violation continues.
The legislation also prohibits companies like Apple and Google from offering the Chinese app for download. The law will only impact the distribution of the Chinese app, and will not have any penalties for TikTok users.
Meanwhile, state agencies in Montana, as well as the federal government, have already banned the Chinese app on government devices, as the government widely views TikTok as a national security threat.
Additionally, TikTok’s parent company has already been caught snooping on U.S. and UK journalists in multiple instances.
As Breitbart News previously reported, ByteDance employees have obtained the private user data of U.S. journalists. The Chinese company was also recently discovered having tracked a UK journalist via her cat’s TikTok account, which didn’t even have her real name on it.
Meanwhile, a former executive at ByteDance says the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has “supreme access” to all data held by TikTok’s parent company, including on servers in the United States. He added that the CCP even has a special office inside the company, which monitors Bytedance and TikTok, guiding the entities in advancing “core Communist values.”
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.