TikTok US ban temporarily blocked by a federal judge

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Tiktok stock photo on smartphone

  • A federal judge has temporarily blocked a ban on the TikTok app in the US.
  • The ban was supposed to go into full effect at the end of the day on Sunday.
  • Instead, the app will continue to be available while the court continues to go over the case.

TikTok users and creators in the US can rest easy for now. The planned ban of the popular social networking mobile app in the US ordered by the Trump administration has now been blocked by a federal judge, at least for the time being.

Originally, the TikTok ban was supposed to go into full effect at midnight Eastern time on Sunday under orders from the Commerce Department. However, according to NPR, the judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia, Carl Nichols, decided to stop the ban.

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Judge Nichols heard arguments from both the Trump administration’s lawyers, along with lawyers representing TikTok, over the phone on Sunday. TikT0k’s attorneys argued that shutting down access to the app violated the company’s First Amendment free speech rights. However, attorneys for the US Department of Justice claimed that TikTok was “the most immediate national security threat.”  They claimed the app, owned by China-based ByteDance, could have data collected from its users taken by the Chinese government. TikTok has repeatedly denied this would happen.

However, in the end, Judge Nichols decided in TikTok’s favor. There’s no word on why he made this ruling. This means TikTok can continue to be available to US users while a full court hearing on this case goes through.

Meanwhile, we are still waiting to see if a deal to purchase TikTok’s US assets will actually happen. The Trump administration has given an in-principle nod to a deal between Oracle, Walmart, and TikTok. However, the agreement is not final yet. Oracle could end up getting a 12.5% stake in the US operations of TikTok and Walmart could get a 7.5% stake as per the current deal terms.