The incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t seems to like the Chinese social video sharing service TikTok and had tried different times to have it banned in the country but this had continue to have some legal hurdle to climb.
On Monday, a Federal Judge has fully blocked the Trump Administration’s attempt to ban TikTok in the United States.
Presiding over the case was U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington who found that Trump had “overstepped” his authority in using this emergency economic powers to attempt the complete ban of a popular platform such as TikTok – this made him the second judge to rule against the ban.
Legal representatives of TikTok demonstrated that Trump officials’ “failure to adequately consider an obvious and reasonable alternative before banning TikTok” renders the crackdown against the app “arbitrary and capricious,” wrote Nichols, who is a Trump appointee.
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Meanwhile the Trump Administration stated that the service pose some potential national security threat making the Commerce Department seek the prevention of more American users to flock to the service even though numerous attempts have been made by the company to show its dedication to data security while also moving US user data out of the China as well as partnering up with Oracle.
Judge Nichols stated that in the event that the Trump Administration prevails on appeal in the case his injunction would remain in order to which will prevent users from leaving the platform en masse for competing services as the court stated this will exact an “irreparable harm” on TikTok.
TikTok rose to prominence since the beginning of the year when the lockdown was at its peak as young generation were able to find solace in the short video sharing platform. The platform is also said to have been used for anti-trump activism.
White House officials have targeted TikTok over its Beijing ownership.
According to Trump officials, U.S. user data is at risk of being accessed by Chinese authorities because of the close ties the authoritarian regime has with private business in the country.
U.S. user data is mostly stored by TikTok on servers in Virginia, with backup storage in Singapore. Company officials say Chinese authorities have never attempted to gain access to Americans’ information.
But the White House have contented without any evidence that the Chinese government may request for the data of American citizens hence a spy tool.
With numerous attempt to talk things out with the Commerce Department, the agency’s Secretary Wilbur Ross continued to push for TikTok’s ban.
“Here, the Secretary did not consider any alternatives before effectively banning TikTok from the United States, nor did the Secretary articulate any justification (rational or otherwise) for failing to consider any such alternatives,” Nichols wrote on Monday.
The Trump administration has several times pushed back the deadline for TikTok’s corporate owner to sell its U.S. operations.
According to the company’s spokesperson after the positive outcome of the court ruling stated that “We’re focused on continuing to build TikTok as the home that 100 million Americans, including families and small businesses, rely upon for expression, connection, economic livelihood, and true joy.”