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. U.S. district judge Carl Nichols issued his ruling just after 8pm ET, but his opinion has been sealed, pending review by the two sides’ attorneys.
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’. The government’s lawyers argued that first amendment claims by TikTok do n’t apply, because the Trump administration considers the app a national security risk.
President Trump issued an order on August 6th saying security concerns about TikTok and WeChat, both China-based apps, constituted a national emergency. The order is set to go into effect on November 12th and will effectively halt the app’s operations.
The Commerce Department issued an order to block transactions with both TikTok parent company and WeChat, effective September 20th. On September 18th, a Commerce Department ordered a block of transactions.
Tiktok global will be tasked with processing and storage for all US-based TikTok users. Oracle would become TikTok’s trusted security partner under the terms of the deal.
Tiktok attorney John hall argued 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,’ says hall. If it disappears from the app stores, the effect would damage its reputation.
The US government argued that preventing new users on the app would allow the Commerce Department to address the most serious national security risks. Such a ban would also block existing users from receiving new security updates to the app.
Tiktok said in an email to the verge Sunday night that the president gave his preliminary approval to the judge’s decision. A TikTok spokesperson said the company was pleased with the decision and said it planned to’maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government’.
Under Nichols’ order, the two sides must review his sealed opinion to determine whether it can be unsealed. Both sides will meet by September 30th to schedule further proceedings in the case.
Judge halts the ban on new TikTok downloads. Ruling adds judge’s decision to halt the ban. The ban was imposed on new downloads in September.