A second federal judge in the United States has reportedly blocked the U.S Commerce Department order that would have barred the TikTok app from operating in the nation.
Carl Nichols, the U.S. District Judge in Washington, found that Commence Department overstepped its authority in implementing the TikTok ban and acted in a capricious and arbitrary manner by failing to consider obvious alternatives.
Sources cite that Nichols’ order limits the agency from barring data hosting within the US for TikTok, technical transactions, and content delivery services. On Sept. 27, Mr. Nichols had separately blocked the Commerce Department from banning Google’s and Apple’s app stores from offering the app for download by new users.
Speaking on which, a TikTok spokesman said that the company is delighted with the court’s decision to grant a preliminary injunction to the video-sharing app.
Citing a threat to national security, Trump Administration’s Commerce Department had sought to stop the video-sharing app from being downloaded in app stores. The agency said that it would defend Trump’s August executive order that put restrictions on TikTok and said it is completely consistent with regulations and promotes legitimate national security interests. The government would continue to comply with the preliminary injunction, added the agency.
The Trump administration banned TikTok citing security concerns. The government said that the video-sharing app poses a national security threat as U.S users’ data could be obtained by the Chinese government. However, TikTok has persistently denied these allegations.
ByteDance, owner of TikTok, which has more than 100 million U.S. users, has been in talks with Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc to finalize the deal that will shift the company’s U.S assets into a new entity. A U.S. appeals court will also hear arguments on Carl Nichols’ app store ban order on December 14.