In the name of defending the State of Montana from Chinese Communist Party threats, Montana Governor Gianforte has urged the Board of Regents to enact a ban on the incredibly popular app, TikTok.

The information stated here is gathered from a letter from the Office of the Governor, issued on January 3rd, 2023.

Governor Gianforte has already banned the use of TikTok on any state equipment, as of mid December 2022. It is believed that since TikTok is, in fact, a Chinese company - data could easily be gathered and shared with the CCP. (It's certainly not a stretch, and actually quite likely.)

The ban on State of Montana equipment is not out of left field. Several other states have already enacted TikTok bans on their government issued devices and networks. (See a full map of states that have instituted a ban of some sort on TikTok on state issued devices.)

In this latest request for a TikTok ban, Governor Gianforte has sent a letter to the Montana Board of Regents, requesting "the Board of Regents support efforts by the Commissioner of Higher Education to prevent the use of TikTok by the Montana University System (MUS) and it's campuses and while connected to the MUS network." (letter dated January 3rd, 2023)

According to "All actions states have taken against TikTok so far have been announced and led by Republicans." But that doesn't mean the bans are politically driven. "The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill that would require TikTok to be removed from all federal devices."

What is exactly is the Montana Board of Regents and what do they do, specifically? A LOT. They make the rules for the MUS.

The Board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor, and confirmed by the Senate, to seven year overlapping terms. One of the members of the board shall be a student appointed by the Governor.

The governance and administration of the Montana University System is vested with the Board of Regents, which has full power, responsibility, and authority to supervise, coordinate, manage and control the Montana University System, and supervise and coordinate other public educational institutions assigned by law.

You can read the original memo to Kevin Gilbertson, Chief Information Officer for the State of Montana here.

Photo by Josh Rose on Unsplash
Photo by Josh Rose on Unsplash

TikTok, known in China as Douyin, is a short-form video hosting service owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. It hosts user-submitted videos, which can range in duration from 15 seconds to 10 minutes.

TikTok is an international version of Douyin, which was released in the Chinese market in September 2016. (Wikipedia)

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