Judge puts temporary halt on Trump administration ban of TikTok downloads

Posted 30 days ago

From WWW.THEVERGE.COM

A judge granted a preliminary injunction to video-sharing app TikTok on Sunday, blocking a ban on new downloads in the US that would have gone into effect at midnight. US District Judge Carl Nichols issued his decision to grant a preliminary injunction just after 8PM ET, but his opinion has been sealed, pending review by the two sides’ attorneys. Nichols did not block “at this time” restrictions by the Commerce Department set to go into effect on November 12th, however.

Attorneys for TikTok argued Sunday morning during a dial-in hearing that a ban by the Trump administration would be “devastating,” and urged a judge to block it until the entire case can be decided. TikTok’s attorney said the ban that would prevent new downloads of TikTok from Apple and Google’s app stores at 11:59PM ET today was essentially “shutting down speech.” But the government’s lawyers argued that First Amendment claims by TikTok don’t apply, because the Trump administration considers the app a national security risk.

On August 6th, President Trump issued an order saying the security concerns about TikTok and WeChat, both China-based apps, constituted a national emergency. He invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which lets him ban transactions between US and foreign entities. President Trump then issued an order August 14th giving ByteDance 90 days to either sell or spin off its TikTok business in the US. That order is set to go into effect on November 12th and will effectively halt the app’s operations.

On September 18th, the Commerce Department issued an order to block transactions with both TikTok parent company ByteDance and WeChat, effective September 20th.

But on September 19th, a tentative d... (Read more)