Montana’s Plan To Ban TikTok Is A Preview For The Rest Of The Country
Lawmakers in Washington are pushing for an outright ban of TikTok on American soil. Montana might beat them to it.
The state’s Legislature is further along than any other body in the United States to passing a ban of the popular Chinese-owned video app, which has faced scrutiny for whether it is handing sensitive data about Americans to Beijing. A Montana bill to block the app was introduced in February, and the State Senate approved it last month. The State House, where the bill has a strong chance of passing after two more votes, is scheduled to consider it on Thursday.
Along the way, the proposal has encountered obstacles. A major internet provider said it could not block TikTok in Montana, prompting lawmakers to rewrite the legislation. A trade group funded by Apple and Google, which operate the app stores that would be forbidden to carry the app, also declared that it was impossible for the companies to prevent access to TikTok in a single state.
And the lobbying has been intense. Critics of China have appeared at hearings supporting the bill. To strike back, TikTok has pushed its users to oppose the legislation by calling and emailing Montana’s Republican governor, Greg Gianforte. A spokeswoman for Mr. Gianforte said he would “carefully consider any bill the Legislature sends to his desk” and noted that he had already banned TikTok on state devices.