TikTok is finally getting some relief, as a US judge in Washington has ordered a stay on the scheduled ban of the app from mobile app stores around the country, which was supposed to come into effect at 11:59 pm on Sunday. The federal court’s ruling was a response to TikTok’s request for a temporary injunction against the ban imposed by the Trump administration.
The ByteDance owned platform had claimed that the ban order was unconstitutional and a violation of due process. John Hall, a lawyer representing TikTok, said during an emergency hearing on Sunday, “The ban is an extraordinary action at the very time when the need for free open and accessible communication in America is at its zenith”.
So for now, users in America can continue downloading the app from app stores, while the court reviews if the platform does, in fact, pose a threat to national security, as the government claims.
TikTok had filed a lawsuit against the American government on September 18 to contest the ban, and filed an injunction on Thursday to stop or at least extend the Sunday deadline. Shortly after the injunction was filed, the US government requested the court to reject it in a sealed motion. During the hearing, attorneys representing the government said that TikTok posed an immense threat to national security, claiming that American user data on the platform was being shared with the Chinese government.
During the hearing, Judge Carl Nichols expressed that the ban order by the Trump administration can be seen as a “fairly significant deprivation” of TikTok’s due process rights. However, the actual formal opinion of the judge was handed over to the two parties privately, which means that the reason for the decision is not made public.
TikTok said in a statement, “We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees”. It added that it is pleased with the ruling and is in continuous talks with the government about the newly approved TikTok deal in the US.
TikTok is currently caught up in a storm of problems in the United States and there seems to be no end to it. It all started with the Trump administration ordering a ban on the platform in August followed by the Commerce Department’s order for the ban of the app on all the app stores starting September 20 with further restrictions on usage from November 12.
Following Trump’s wish to make TikTok American-owned, a deal was confirmed between TikTok, Oracle and Walmart to form ‘TikTok Global‘. When Trump approved of this deal, the commerce department extended the deadline of the ban. But for now, the deal has entered complications with contradicting views from the involved parties and restrictions from the Beijing administration.