Judge Blocks Government from Banning TikTok in App Stores

TikTok app fined in US for illegally gathering children's data (© GETTY/AFP/File Joe Scarnici)

A judge has temporarily blocked the U.S. government from banning the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from being downloaded from Apple and Google’s app stores.

CNBC reports that the banning of the Chinese-owned app TikTok from U.S. app stores has been temporarily halted. The app was set to be banned on Sunday night but after a hearing on Sunday, Judge Carl Nichols of United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted an injunction against the order. The judge did not block a broader ban set to come into effect on November 12 in the United States that would essentially render TikTok unusable.

Breitbart Tech has reported on efforts between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and Oracle and Walmart to partner in a new company, TikTok Global. That deal would avert the banning of TikTok in the United States, but it has not been finalized. Attorney General William Barr reportedly remains skeptical of the deal.

TikTok said in a statement:

We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban. 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.

The U.S. Commerce Department plans to continue to defend the executive order to ban the app set out by President Donald Trump which is “consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests.”

In a statement, the department said: “The Government will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so, but intends to vigorously defend the E.O. and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges.”

Breitbart News reported earlier this month that another Chinese-owned app, WeChat, successfully protected itself from being banned. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler granted the app an injunction over first amendment concerns. Beeler wrote in her judgment:

In the attached order, the court grants the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction on the ground that the plaintiffs have shown serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor, and the plaintiffs establish sufficiently the other elements for preliminary-injunctive relief.

Read more at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com


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