Not only has Montana this week banned China’s TikTok, Montana’s Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed a bill that bans from government devices other apps linked to “foreign adversaries” like WeChat, Telegram, and online shopping platform Temu. He also wants other apps, like CapCut video editor, owned by the same company as TikTok banned.
The apps Gianforte mentioned are tied to China – TikTok is owned by ByteDance, WeChat by Tencent, and Temu by Pinduoduo. However, Telegram is not tied to China.
In a statement, Telegram said, “Telegram has never provided user data to the Russian government. Its messages are securely encrypted and cannot be intercepted.
“Telegram has no employees, equipment or offices in Russia. Telegram is based in Dubai and has never been developed by a Russian company. While the idea for Telegram was born while its founder, Pavel Durov was still residing in Russia, the messenger application was conceived specifically to escape Russian surveillance — and was never physically or legally connected to Russia.”
Gianforte’s order claimed that the Kremlin uses Telegram to “monitor users and obtain personal, sensitive, confidential information.”
The new policy for government devices will take effect on June 1 and applies to “all state-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices which connect to the internet.” The ban also applies to “any third-party firms conducting business for or on behalf of the State of Montana.”
The governor added that the apps should be “immediately removed” from devices they are already installed on.
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