Judge rules TikTok can avoid a ban in the US, for now

TikTok won’t be kicked off of US app stores — at least not yet.

A federal judge on Sunday partially granted TikTok’s request for a temporary injunction against a push
by the Trump administration to ban the app in the United States. The ruling blocks a US government ban
on downloads of the app mere hours before the policy was to take effect.
The decision is a victory for TikTok after it challenged the ban as unconstitutional and a violation of due
The ban would have been an “extraordinary action at the very time when the need for free open and
accessible communication in America is at its zenith” ahead of a presidential election, said John Hall, an
attorney representing TikTok, said during an emergency hearing Sunday morning.
Government lawyers, meanwhile, argued at that hearing that TikTok’s ownership by a Chinese firm
represented an “immediate danger” to national security. The app’s parent company ByteDance is based
in Beijing, and the Trump administration has claimed that the app’s American user data risks winding up
in the hands of the Chinese government. (Tiktok has denied this as a possibility and says it keeps US
data stateside, with a backup in Singapore.)
Judge Carl Nichols’ opinion was issued under seal, so his exact reasoning for the order is not public. But
during the emergency hearing, Nichols indicated that the Trump administration’s ban, as structured,
could be considered a “fairly significant deprivation” of the company’s due process rights.
close dialog
The Commerce Department announced earlier this month that TikTok downloads would be banned
September 20, and further restrictions would go into effect November 12 — making it illegal for internet
backbone companies to carry TikTok’s internet traffic. (Such companies help route traffic from web
servers to home internet providers.)
Commerce delayed its initial deadline last weekend after President Donald Trump gave his tentative
blessing to an agreement that involved TikTok, ByteDance, Oracle (ORCL) and Walmart (WMT). The
deal, which has still not been finalized, was intended to address Trump’s national security concerns
about the app and give at least partial ownership to American companies and investors.
TikTok said in a statement that it was “pleased” with the ruling.
“We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees,” the company
said in a statement, adding that it continues to talk to the government about the proposal that Trump
tentatively approved.
The Commerce Department said late Sunday that it would comply with the injunction, but adding that its
order was “fully consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests.”
It added that the US government intends to “vigorously defend” its order.( cnn / im )
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