The state of Montana will vote Friday to ban the platform. TikTok through a law that may be difficult to enforce, but which increases pressure in the United States against the Chinese group’s popular video network. ByteDance.
The lower house of this Republican-majority northwestern state on Thursday counted 60 votes in favor and 39 against SB419, which would “bans TikTok in Montana“.
The Senate will vote on this bill on Friday, although the Senate had already passed it last month. Once ratified by the governor, it should take effect on January 1, 2024.
“It’s time to stand up to the Chinese and veto. TikTok“, said lawmaker Brandon Ler. China “wants our data and our intellectual property,” he added.
Ler further said that it is a dangerous application for the “health and safety, especially of the very young.”
TikTok under pressure
From Montana until the House WhiteIn the White House, Democratic and Republican representatives accuse the video platform of serving the Chinese government to spy on and manipulate users.
TikTokwhich has always denied these accusations, has been trying for years to reassure the authorities in vain. In fact, the U.S. Congress is also working on several projects to ban it at the national level.
“This law is an outrageous violation of the free speech rights of Montanans” and a “disastrous precedent,” said the chief operating officer of TikTokVanessa Pappas, following the state Senate vote in March.
The bill “is going to exclude Montana of a community of 150 million people in the United States,” he added.
But how would this law be enforced against TikTok?
According to a spokesperson for the platform contacted on Thursday, the authors of the initiative “have themselves admitted that they had no realistic plan to implement this attempt to censor American opinions.”
The bill contemplates prohibiting – under penalty of fines – app stores from distributing the app to users in the state. Apple y Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the AFP.
However, the text provides for the prohibition to lapse if. TikTok is bought by a company from a country “not considered a rival” of the United States.
Several independent experts stressed that this law faces legal challenges given that there is no precedent in the United States.