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Montana Bill To Ban Personal Use Of TikTok Stalled In State House As End To Legislative Session Looms

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The Montana bill to ban TikTok from personal devices is still stalled, despite the 90-day session of the state legislature ending next week.

SB419 would ban the download of TikTok from the state. Any “entity” (app stores or TikTok) that “offers the ability” for someone to download or access the app would be fined $10,000 per day. Users would not face any penalties.

The Montana Senate and House approved the measure. However, online records maintained by the Montana Legislature show that it still needs to be signed off by House Speaker Matt Regier. According to online documents, Senate President Jason Ellsworth signed the bill on April 20, which is more than a month ago.

Madison Atkinson told Fox News Digital that the Montana House Majority’s communications director “had a delayed in our flow of legislative this week.”

She added, “The House is determined to finish the work for Montanans.”

The ban could be imposed on the popular social networking app due to growing concerns from lawmakers and voters about the possibility that Chinese spying may take place through the app. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, the governor of Montana, banned TikTok from state government devices in 2013. He said that the app was a “significant” risk to state data.

The governor’s press secretariat told Fox News, in response to the House’s delay, that Gianforte “yet has to receive the bill”, and that “his office has prepared amendments to bill for consideration” before the end of the legislative sessions.

The bill has not yet been received by the governor. The bill is still on the speaker’s table, as its status appears on LAWS. The governor’s office, aware that the legislative session was rapidly coming to an end and time was of the essence prepared amendments to this bill.

The following are examples of a placeholder:
“As with all bills that the Governor seeks to amend, the Governor wants to achieve agreement and consensus from all parties relevant, including agencies and bill sponsors, as well as legislative leadership.

She added, “We are optimistic that the logjam can be broken and we’ll receive the bill, as well as a consensus on the governor’s proposed amendment, before the legislative gavels go out.”

Republicans in the Montana state senate share the optimism of the governor’s staff about the passage and signature of the bill.

Kyle Schmauch (the communications director of the Montana Senate majority) told Fox News, referring to possible amendments suggested by Governor, that Senate Republicans are “confident that the bill will be passed, whether it is in its current format or with suggested changes by the Governor.”

It was reported earlier this week that Gianforte would request changes to the measure, and that its passage had been delayed.

According to The Wall Street Journal’s report, the changes would “broaden the ban, from only applying to TikTok, and cover social media apps that provide certain data for foreign adversaries.”

Both Democrats and Republicans have been closely scrutinizing TikTok – owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance – over concerns that it could give user data to China’s government or spread propaganda and misinformation pro Beijing on the platform.

The supporters of a TikTok banning point out two Chinese laws which force companies to work with the government in state intelligence. They also point to troubling incidents such as the disclosure made by ByteDance last December, that four employees were fired for accessing the IP addresses and data of two journalists in an attempt to find out the source of the leaked report.

If the Montana TikTok Ban becomes law, it will be nullified if Congress passes an anti-TikTok measure, or if TikTok breaks ties with China. The bill, which was drafted before the Chinese spy balloon that drifted above Montana in February, was presented only a few weeks later.

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