The US government under Donald Trump‘s administration has long been pushing for the ban of Chinese giant social media platform TikTok stating national security reasons and despite different attempts being made by the company to impress the US by even forming an alliance with Oracle, the company doesn’t seems to be getting the good side of Trump for whatever reason.
A US Judge on Sunday has granted a preliminary injunction to TikTok which blocks a ban on new downloads in the US which is expected to go into effect at 12:00AM. The US District Judge Carl Nicholas issued his decision to grant a preliminary injunction also stating that his opinion is sealed but pends review by two sides’ attorneys.
Nichols did not block “at this time” restrictions by the Commerce Department set to go into effect on November 12th, however.
The attorneys who argued for TikTok on Sunday stated that a ban by the Trump administration would be “devastating” and so want the judge to block it until the entire case can be decided. The attorney further stated that a ban would prevent new downloads of the app from app stores such as Apple store and Google Play store which is essentially “shutting down speech.”
But on the other hand, the government’s legal representative argue that the First Amendment claimed by TikTok do not apply because the service is being considered by the US president as being a security threat.
If you did not forget, President Trump issued an executive order back in August 6th which stated security concerns over TikTok and WeChat both which are Chinese-owned companies. The President then invoked the International Emergency Economic Power Act (IEEPA) which allows the president to ban the service.
Then following week, Trump gave ByteDance, TikTok parent company a 90 days ultimatum to sell the business to a US company or be banned and the order is supposed to into full effect by November 12th which will stop the service’s operations in the US.
Then the September 18th order was meant to block transactions with both TikTok parent company, ByteDance and WeChat which was supposed to go into effect by September 20th.
Then a day later, a deal was struck whereby TikTok Global was made an independent entity with its headquarters in the US and the US-based users info stored in the country. Oracle will then become the trusted security partner of the company and have some stake in the company.
The app store ban is “arbitrary and capricious,” TikTok attorney John Hall argued Sunday. The company also says that the August 6th order should not apply, since IEEPA excludes information and communication technologies.
“This is one of the fastest growing apps in the world, and those new users are the lifeblood of this business, which is true of any social media platform,” said Hall. “If it disappears from the app stores, the effect would be devastating with respect to users, content, creators, and would damage its reputation with advertisers.”
Meanwhile the US government lawyer argued that preventing new users will allow the Commerce Department to address the national security risks posed by the service and that will potentially block access to the service from existing users.
The Judge’s decision is said to be pleasing to the company according to an email gotten by The Verge from a TikTok spokesperson and stated that this “maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement.”
Under Nichols’ order, the two sides must review his sealed opinion to determine whether it can be unsealed, and both sides will meet by September 30th to schedule further proceedings in the case.