A judge granted a preliminary injunction to video-sharing app TikTok on Sunday, blocking a ban on new downloads in the US that would have gone into effect at midnight. US District Judge Carl Nichols issued his decision to grant a preliminary injunction just after 8PM ET, but his opinion has been sealed, pending review by the two sides’ attorneys. Nichols did not block “at this time” restrictions by the Commerce Department set to go into effect on November 12th, however.
For the POTUS or the US government, in general, to begin arbitrarily shutting down websites, unless such sites are involved in specific criminal activity such as terrorism or child trafficking, is unpresented and ‘un-American,’ and I argued that Trump’s order would not stand, as it would presumably violate the Constitution. The alleged national security threat, as justification for blocking the site, seemed too vague, as there were no specifics, nor did anyone make a case that TikTok’s handling of user data is necessarily worse than that of Facebook and other US-based tech companies. But some people though were genuinely concerned the site could go down. As it turned out, by ‘ban’ what was actually in mind is that the site would not be blocked by ISPs, but rather that new downloads would be blocked. On the 21st of September, TikTok chose Oracle over Microsoft as its suitor, under Trump’s approval, and given Trump’s diagnosis, I do not see him pursuing this much further, so I think it is reasonable to assume TikTok will not be going anywhere anytime soon.