Governor Greg Gianforte is asking for Montana's University system to implement a ban on TikTok, saying the Chinese-based app is giving the Communist Party the ability to spy on Americans. 

Gianforte made the appeal in a letter to the Board of Regents and Clayton Christian Tuesday. 

Gianforte has been at the forefront of Montana's Conservative lawmakers in the effort to ban the installation and use of the app. The push is expected to make headlines during the Legislative session which is just getting underway this week. Gianforte has already banned TikTok installation on state-owned phones and other devices, for state business while connected to the state's networks. 

“The ability of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to spy on Americans using TikTok is well documented. Using or even downloading TikTok poses a massive security threat,” Governor Gianforte writes. “Given the risk use of TikTok poses to our public universities and our students, I request 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 its campuses and while connected to the MUS network.”

Gianforte cites recent testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray who warned TikTok is controlled by "a government that doesn't share our values" with a "mission" that's "at odds" with the "best interests of the United States. 

The interesting question of the MUS taking such a position is how it would impact the use of the app by individual students, who may need to connect to a school's network with their phones or laptops at the University of Montana and Montana State University and satellite campuses. 

We're reaching out to higher education officials to get their reaction to the Governor's request. 

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