Federal judge rules TikTok ban unconstitutional

TikTok avoids the chopping block once again. A federal judge ruled in favor of postponing TikTok’s ban in order to provide more time for negotiations about U.S. partnership.

TikTok avoids ban once again. Photo of TikTok logo shown on a smartphone.

The end of TikTok has been averted once again. The Trump administration’s ban was expected to be effective Sunday at 11:59 p.m., but a federal ruling has put a halt to those plans for now.

The Court’s Ruling

The United States federal Judge, Carl Nichols, ruled in favor of TikTok. This allows it to continue operating in the U.S. while still in the hands of Chinese parent company ByteDance. Judge Nichols ruled the ban as an infringement on free speech and due process rights, effectively postponing the ban until November.

The ban is the result of fear that TikTok is collecting and supplying American users’ data to China. TikTok claims that they would deny any data requests from Beijing. The majority of American data is stored in the U.S. according to TikTok.

This ruling came at a critical time for TikTok as the deal between Oracle and Walmart was at a stand-still. The inability to secure the deal would have resulted in TikTok’s ban from the United States. However, the ruling now gives ByteDance until Nov. 12 to secure a deal with U.S. partners in order to satisfy President Trump.

The tech company’s Attorney John Hall argued that banning TikTok would be like banning people from a public forum.

“TikTok is a modern-day version of a Town-Square,” Hall said, “[banning] would be no different than locking the doors to a public forum.”

Not out of the water

The Trump administration has no plans to forget the ban. They plan to set the ban back in operation in November.

U.S. Department of Justice Attorney Daniel Schwei claimed that the app still poses security risks to Americans.

“The concern here is about data security risk and leaving data vulnerable to access by the Chinese government,” Schwei said. “This is the most immediate national security threat. It is a threat today.”

TikTok downloads and the continued use of the app will continue to be available in the United States. However, it is by no means out of the water.

TikTok claims that a ban from the U.S. would severely impact the app. TikTok interim global head Vanessa Pappas claimed that a ban of just six months would result in a 90% drop in users.

“We would not be able to make up for lost ground, because people who would have downloaded TikTok will have already turned to other competing platforms such as Byte, Triller, Zynn and the Reels feature on Instagram,” Pappas said.

Edited by Donna Mitchell and Christian Knox

Featured Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons


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