Thursday, 29 October 2020
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US Judge blocks Trump govt’s ban on TikTok

WASHINGTON: TikTok won a last-minute reprieve as a US federal judge halted enforcement of a politically charged ban ordered by the Trump administration on downloads of the popular video app, hours before it was set to take effect.

District Judge Carl Nichols issued a temporary injunction at the request of TikTok, which the White House has called a national security threat stemming from its Chinese parent firm’s links to the Beijing government.

The opinion was sealed, so no reason for the decision was released in a brief order by the court in Washington. The judge may unseal portions of the order after consulting with lawyers from both sides.

The Trump administration order had sought to ban new downloads of the app from midnight today but would allow use of TikTok until Nov 12, when all usage would be blocked. The judge denied TikTok’s request to suspend the Nov 12 ban.

The decision represents a temporary win for TikTok, which has 100 million US users. But the court has yet to consider the merits of the legal arguments on whether the social platform should remain available to Americans.

TikTok has argued that even a temporary ban would be devastating and cause the company irreparable harm by stunting its growth and hurting its commercial reputation.

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction,” TikTok said in a statement.

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