In a first-of-its kind ordeal, the state of Montana has sent the communist Chinese government-tied TikTok platform packing.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed SB 419 into law Wednesday, May 17, prohibiting TikTok from operating “within the territorial jurisdiction of Montana. “To protect Montananas’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana,” wrote the governor in a tweet Wednesday.
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
Montana banned the app from government devices in December, but it is the first state to ban the app outright on all devices.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr advocated for such a solution in March when he commented on the growing trend of states restricting TikTok on state government devices. “The actions that almost 30 states have taken is a very good step in the right direction,” he told MRC Free Speech America. “They’re banning TikTok from state government devices. At the end of the day, though, we have to go much further than that, which is to address TikTok not just on government devices, which we’ve done on the federal level now, and … at the state level, but we need to address this nationwide, for everybody not just government devices.”
NetChoice, which represents Big Tech companies, and others on the left have hypocritically argued that banning TikTok infringes on the First Amendment, according to The Verge.
But MRC Free Speech America, MRC Business and External Affairs Vice President Dan Schneider called out the left for their hypocrisy on the issue. “It seems that the left only cares about free speech rights when it harms our national security,” Schneider said.
Other experts have also urgently pressed the issue noting just how dangerous TikTok is for American national security.
Former member of the Defense Intelligence Community Scott Kieff previously told MRC Free Speech America that “[TikTok is] very much authentically part of a foreign state that has shown itself and declared itself to use networks like this both to gather [data] and to influence.” He added that “[i]t’s OK to take adversaries at face value when they say they’re acting against you and show they’re acting against you.” [Emphasis added.]
Fox News China expert Gordon Chang noted how China can use TikTok to unravel American society. “We know that it pushes critical race theory, it glorifies drug use,” he said. “These are narratives that Beijing finds to weaken American society, and these are things you don’t see on Douyin, which is the sister site in China.”
A Beijing company owned by three state entities in China owns a one percent stake in TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. Chinese ByteDance employees can reportedly access American user data, including non-public data, according to a BuzzFeed News report.
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