On Wednesday, Montana governor Greg Gianforte didn’t solely ban TikTok state-wide. He also accused Telegram, WeChat, and the procuring app Temu of being “tied to international adversaries” and directed that they and related apps be banned from authorities gadgets and all state enterprise. Gianforte additionally cited TikTok proprietor ByteDance’s CapCut video editor and Lemon8 as examples of offending apps.
With this ban, Gianforte largely appears to be focusing on apps with ties to China, on condition that ByteDance, Temu proprietor Pinduoduo, and WeChat proprietor Tencent are all primarily based within the nation. Telegram is the exception: it was based in Russia however is at the moment headquartered in Dubai. Gianforte’s letter claims that the Russian authorities makes use of the app to “monitor customers and procure private, delicate, confidential data,” maybe referencing Wired’s February report.
Montana’s new coverage shall be in impact on June 1st. The listing of gadgets that may’t have the apps consists of “all state-issued cell telephones, laptops, tablets, desktop computer systems, and different gadgets which hook up with the web.” And the ban received’t simply apply to authorities workers: Gianforte says that “any third-party corporations conducting enterprise for or on behalf of the State of Montana shall not use these functions.”
Gianforte had already blocked TikTok on authorities gadgets or gadgets linked to the state community as of December, so this expands that coverage to a set of different main apps. WeChat and Telegram Messenger are widely-used for chats, for instance, and procuring app Temu is at the moment the most well-liked free app within the US within the App Retailer and Google Play. If the offending apps are at the moment downloaded on any gadgets, Gianforte has instructed them to be “instantly eliminated.”
Regardless of Gianforte’s claims it’s “well-documented” that TikTok supplies private data and information to the Chinese language Communist Occasion, it’s unclear if proprietor ByteDance really relays that information again to the federal government. However as we reported in March, Congress doesn’t appear significantly within the solutions — many have already made up their minds.