Montana bans Telegram, WeChat, and Temu from governing administration products

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On Wednesday, Montana governor Greg Gianforte did not only ban TikTok state-large. He also accused Telegram, WeChat, and the searching application Temu of remaining “tied to international adversaries” and directed that they and similar applications be banned from federal government units and all state enterprise. Gianforte also cited TikTok operator ByteDance’s CapCut video editor and Lemon8 as illustrations of offending apps.

With this ban, Gianforte largely seems to be focusing on apps with ties to China, specified that ByteDance, Temu operator Pinduoduo, and WeChat operator Tencent are all dependent in the place. Telegram is the exception: it was started in Russia but is at the moment headquartered in Dubai. Gianforte’s letter statements that the Russian government takes advantage of the application to “monitor consumers and obtain individual, delicate, private facts,” perhaps referencing Wired’s February report.

Montana’s new coverage will be in impact on June 1st. The list of equipment that just can’t have the applications involves “all point out-issued cell telephones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other equipment which connect to the internet.” And the ban will not just implement to govt employees: Gianforte suggests that “any third-celebration companies conducting enterprise for or on behalf of the Point out of Montana shall not use these programs.”

Gianforte experienced previously blocked TikTok on governing administration equipment or gadgets connected to the point out network as of December, so this expands that coverage to a suite of other important applications. WeChat and Telegram Messenger are broadly-applied for chats, for case in point, and buying app Temu is currently the most common absolutely free application in the US in the Application Retailer and Google Perform. If the offending apps are at present downloaded on any products, Gianforte has instructed them to be “immediately taken off.”

Even with Gianforte’s statements it is “well-documented” that TikTok offers personalized information and facts and data to the Chinese Communist Occasion, it’s unclear if owner ByteDance basically relays that details again to the govt. But as we documented in March, Congress doesn’t look specially interested in the solutions — many have currently designed up their minds.


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