To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Bill to ban TikTok passed in first state
Featured Image Credit: True Images / Geopix / Alamy

Bill to ban TikTok passed in first state

Montana has become the first state to grant final passage to a bill banning the use of TikTok

Montana has become the first state to pass a bill banning TikTok after the piece of legislation was voted through on Friday (14 April).

Lawmakers in the state have taken the latest step in a series of events that could one day lead to a TikTok-free USA due to concerns over the company that owns the social media platform’s relationship with the Chinese government.

The concerns are that data and information from US users could be handed over to the government in China or that the app could be used to push propaganda or misinformation.

There is no evidence that has or is happening and ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, denies that this is the case.

Those concerns have been raised by law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and CIA, as well as lawmakers from across the United States, and President Biden has also given suggestion that he supports the idea of a ban, as his National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan recently said that legislation would bolster the USA’s ability to fight security threats from outside countries.

TikTok is currently under scrutiny across the USA.
Geoff Smith/Alamy Stock Photo

Sullivan said: “We look forward to continue working with both Democrats and Republicans on this bill, and urge Congress to act quickly to send it to the President’s desk.”

In Montana, the was given final passage by the state’s lawmakers, and though it will face legal challenges, it is also an interesting test for how the rest of the USA might act.

It will now pass to the Republican Governor Greg Gianforte to be considered.

The state’s house passed the bill by 54 votes to 43.

This piece of legislation goes further than other states have so far, although many have banned TikTok from government devices.

Montana also already has a ban on state-owned technology.

In a statement, TikTok’s spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said: “We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”

She added that those who support the bill ‘have admitted that they have no feasible plan for operationalizing this attempt to censor American voices and that the bill’s constitutionality will be decided by the courts’.

Supporters of the ban have raised the fact that China has two laws in place that compel companies to co-operate with the government on state intelligence work if asked.

US law enforcement agencies have expressed concern about TikTok.
picsmart/Alamy Stock Photo

However, TikTok states that the servers that contain data from US-based users are in Texas, not in China.

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley attempted to force a vote on the a US-wide TikTok ban at the end of March, though his bill was blocked by a fellow Republican.

Attempts to force votes are rarely successful, but Hawley still called TikTok ‘digital fentanyl’ and said that the information of 150 million Americans could be available to the Chinese government.

Both of the US houses are thought to be considering what action – if any – should be taken against the app.

Rejecting the vote, Kentucky’s Republican Senator Rand Paul said: “Speech is protected whether you like it or not.”

UNILAD has reached out to TikTok for any additional comment.

Topics: US News, Politics, TikTok, Technology, China