Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves A judge ruling with the app TikTok.
U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols, granted TikTok a preliminary injunction blocking an order from President Trump which received a reprieve of its ban from U.S. app stores on Sunday.
It is the second setback for the Trump administration in the effort to curb U.S. residents’ access to popular Chinese mobile apps. Last weekend, a federal magistrate in San Francisco cited First Amendment issues in blocking a proposed ban of the WeChat app.
Judge Nichols granted the injunction for the piece of the ban that was set to go into effect Sunday night, but denied a motion to halt a second aspect of the ban that doesn’t go into effect until November 12.
During a Sunday hearing, Judge Nichols questioned whether TikTok had been given enough opportunity to defend itself before Trump issued an executive order last month barring the app from online stores. The judge said, that “this was a largely a unilateral decision with very little opportunity for plaintiffs to be heard.”
The Commerce Department in a statement late Sunday said that it would comply with the judge’s decision but that the executive order is “fully consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests.” It said it would “vigorously defend” it from legal challenges.
TikTok spokeswoman Hilary McQuaide said in a statement that the company was “pleased” with the ruling and would continue “defending our rights.”
Trump had cited national security concerns August 6 when he issued an executive order banning both the short form video app TikTok and the multipurpose WeChat app from app stores effective September 20. The Commerce Department delayed the TikTok ban by a week after Trump seemed to give his blessing to a tentative deal that would pass TikTok’s ownership to a proposed U.S.based entity that would include partnerships with Oracle and Walmart.
TikTok also is pursuing a lawsuit in federal court in D.C. to block Trump’s executive order.
In opposing the request for a preliminary injunction, the Justice Department stated its national security concerns more clearly than it had done previously. It asserted that ByteDance cooperates with the Chinese government, which can compel the company to turn over information.
“Despite being separate companies, TikTok’s infrastructure is not wholly separate from ByteDance,” the government said in its filing.
TikTok has said that it stores U.S. customer information outside of China. In its request for an injunction, the company said it has created “software barriers that help ensure that TikTok stores its U.S. user data separately from the user data of other ByteDance products.”