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Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks US Ban on TikTok Downloads

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks US Ban on TikTok Downloads

A federal judge on Sunday granted TikTok a preliminary injunction blocking an order from the Trump Administration that would have banned new downloads of the TikTok app in the United States beginning Monday.

The New York Times reports:

The injunction halts only the element of the ban scheduled to take effect Sunday at midnight, which would have forced TikTok off app stores run by companies like Apple and Google. It does not cover a broader set of restrictions set to take effect in November “at this time,” the judge, Carl Nichols of United States District Court for the District of Columbia, said in his order.

If the order had gone into effect, Apple and Google both would have been forced to remove TikTok from their respective app stores. New downloads would have been unavailable, as would have updates to those that already had the app installed.

TikTok can avoid any potential bans by selling its US business to an American-based company. It was announced last week that TikTok had agreed to partner with Oracle and Walmart to form TikTok Global, a new company that would be headquartered in the United States. Under the proposed deal, Oracle would be responsible for storing user data and would also be able to review the TikTok source code as well as that of any subsequent updates to the code.

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” a spokesman for TikTok said on Sunday after the judge’s decision. “We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees. At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the president gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement.”

President Trump in August signed an executive order giving China-based ByteDance 90 days to sell its TikTok business in the United States, citing evidence of possible national security threats.

In the order, the Trump administration claimed there is “credible evidence” to suggest ByteDance “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

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