A federal judge in Washington has granted TikTok’s motion for a preliminary injunction. Thereby preventing President Trump’s TikTok ban from taking effect September 27 as originally expected.
Judge Carl J. Nichols made the ruling on the evening of Sunday, September 27. Just hours before the popular TikTok app was set to be pulled from app stores by Apple and Google.
It means that for the time being at least, anyone who hasn’t yet downloaded the app will be able to do so. It also means that TikTok will be able to continue to push updates to the app.
The court will now assess whether the TikTok app is a risk to national security. It is the reason Trump gave when signing an executive order in August to ban the software unless an American company bought its U.S. operations.
Only the court’s ruling was made public, with the reasoning provided only to the government and TikTok. The ruling will, however, be made publicly available once both parties have submitted requests for any redactions.
The original date of the app’s ban was set for September 20. But a tentative deal between TikTok and U.S. software giant Oracle announced on September 19. And it prompted Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to push the ban to September 27.
With the clock ticking and no further delay or removal of the proposed ban announced by the U.S. government. TikTok lawyers moved on Sunday to urge the judge to block the ban until the matter of TikTok’s future can be properly resolved.
TikTok lawyers argued that the proposed ban was “arbitrary and capricious”. And it could have an adverse on the security of data as it would prevent any required fixes from reaching the app via updates.
TikTok also claimed that the proposed ban would “prohibit core constitutionally protected speech: videos composed by millions of Americans containing a vast array of individual expression, ranging from art to political speech.”
But lawyers for the government said the ban was valid. Because TikTok’s connections to the Chinese government via its parent company ByteDance made it a national security issue.