Legal

Federal Judge Delays TikTok Ban

TikTok Sale Stalls Over Uncertainty If App's Core Programming Is Included

A federal judge Sunday night (Sept. 27) granted a temporary injunction which blocked a President Donald Trump administration ban on new downloads of the short video-sharing app TikTok that had been set to go into effect Sunday night.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols for the District of Columbia granted a temporary injunction Sunday night, but kept in place another part of the ban that is set to go into effect in November, according to The Washington Post.

Nichols is expected to make public his full decision on Monday.

TikTok said in a released statement that it was pleased with the decision, and would keep fighting for its rights, according to the BBC.
"We're pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban," the statement said.

Under the terms of the executive order issued by Trump, the app could continue to be used by current customers, but new downloads would be prohibited, The Verge reported.

TikTok users Alec Chambers, Douglas Marland and Cosette Rinab, who have a total of 6.8 million subscribers between them, argued their livelihood from the content they post would be hurt, according to the report. In court documents, they said the ban would cause them to lose access to tens of thousands of potential viewers monthly and even more if TikTok closed altogether.

But U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that while the ban would pose an inconvenience, the trio failed to prove they would suffer "immediate, irreparable harm" if new downloads are barred, the report stated.

“They will still be able to create, publish and share content for their millions of current followers,” Beetlestone wrote in her opinion, according to the report.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California rejected a similar request against a temporary ban, according to the report. That case was filed by Patrick Ryan, a technical program manager in TikTok’s Mountain View, California, office. He also alleged the ban would have affected his income.

“Ryan is concerned that he could be prosecuted for receiving a paycheck from TikTok ... or alternatively that TikTok will decline to pay him for fear of violating the Executive Order,” his attorney wrote in the court filing, The Verge reported.

But the judge ruled it was unlikely Ryan would suffer irreparable harm without a restraining order.

On Friday (Sept. 25) the U.S, Department of Justice filed its opposition to TikTok’s request to delay or end the ban, alleging such action would "infringe on the president’s authority to block business-to-business economic transactions with a foreign entity in the midst of a declared national-security emergency,” according to The Verge.

Trump has argued China-based TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, pose a national security threat with their access to U.S. TikTok user’s data. But the Chinese companies insist the order violates due process and freedom of speech.

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