By Simdi Gloria:-
President Donald Trump’s attempts to ban TikTok has been blocked by a US Federal judge, the latest legal defeat for the administration as it tries to wrest the popular app from its Chinese owners.
The Trump administration tried banning the short-form video app from smartphone app stores in the US and cut it off from vital technical services. But TikTok sued, arguing such actions would violate free speech and due process rights.
Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court in Washington, DC said in a ruling that the Commerce Department “likely overstepped” its use of presidential emergency powers “and acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by failing to consider obvious alternatives”.
Judge Carl Nichols is the second federal judge to fully block the Trump administration’s economic sanctions against the app as the court cases proceed.
The Trump administration alleged that TikTok is a security threat because the Chinese government could spy on app users’ personal data.
TikTok has denied it is a security threat but said it is still trying to work with the administration to resolve its concerns.
In September, trump agreed to a proposal by ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok. ByteDance’s plan was meant to resolve US national security concerns by having the US companies Oracle and Walmart invest in TikTok. Oracle would manage US user data under the arrangement, but a federal agency would still have to review and finalise an arrangement.
A government deadline for ByteDance to complete the deal passed on Friday and the status of the agreement is not clear.
President-elect Joe Biden has said TikTok is a concern, it’s not clear whether his administration will carry on the Trump administration’s ongoing attempts to secure a ban, or increase the involvement of US companies.
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