Court Says Trump's Plan To Block TikTok Can't Go Into Effect Yet

from the blocked dept

As we noted late on Friday, even with the weird grifty deal between TikTok and Oracle, Trump's ban on TikTok was scheduled to go into effect last night -- but a court was rushing to review a request by TikTok/Bytedance to put in place a temporary injunction to stop the rules from taking effect.

In an emergency hearing on Sunday morning the judge appeared to be inclined to block the injunction, noting:

This was a unilateral decision with very little opportunity for the plaintiffs to be heard and the result, whether we're talking about November or tonight, is a fairly significant deprivation.

If you don't recall, the block had two stages. The first was supposed to go into effect last night, blocking app stores from any new downloads (including updates) for the software. The second would go into effect on November 12th, and that would block other US services from helping TikTok (no optimization, no CDNs, no peering) as well as any use of TikTok's API.

In a ruling late on Sunday, the judge agreed to a preliminary injunction blocking the rules from going into effect last night, but not issuing one blocking the November rules. However, the reasoning is not known, because it was filed as a sealed memorandum, though both parties have been asked to approve unsealing it perhaps as soon as today.

It seems likely that the reasoning will be at least somewhat similar to the preliminary injunction that blocked the WeChat ban from going into effect: that you can't just magically wave your arms around and scream "national security" to ban entire communications platform from the US -- especially without addressing the 1st Amendment concerns.

The Commerce Department put out a brief statement saying that the Executive Order is "fully consistent with the law" (it isn't) and "promotes legitimate national security interests" (it doesn't). However, it also says it will comply with the injunction, but will "vigorously defend" the E.O. from legal challenges.

On September 27, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the implementation of Executive Order (E.O.) 13942, limited to the Secretary of Commerce’s Identification of Prohibited Transactions with TikTok/ByteDance involving ‘any provision of services… to distribute or maintain the TikTok mobile application, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store.’ The E.O. is fully consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests. The Government will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so, but intends to vigorously defend the E.O. and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges.

In other words, this isn't over yet by a long shot.

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Filed Under: ban, china, commerce department, executive order, injunction, preliminary injunction, wilbur ross
Companies: bytedance, tiktok


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  1. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Sep 2020 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re:

    "If you think Trump is 'funny' I can only say that you have a seriously warped sense of humor."

    Well, there are two ways to look at this; The humanitarian view where people outside the US react in shock and horror at the way that nation is is sliding into the toilet...
    ...but there is always the part where we recall the same shock and horror inflicted on us by GWB and are forced to admit that "At least this president isn't forcing our governments to flush our constitutional laws". Yet.

    I don't think there was any european country which wasn't strong-armed into ignoring or changing the way we handled our civil rights due to the neocons desperately trying to enforce the "hegemony" they aimed for and GWB's "war on terror".
    Even sweden now has in living history having to force two asylum seekers onto a plane headed for the egyptian version of Abu Ghraib. And without any suspicion or charges levied, at that.

    I think everyone wants just and fair government of the USA.
    Since that, though, is apparently something we just can't have quite a few non-americans are willing to be relieved there's at least a US president who seems content to fuck his own people over rather than screws the rest of the world for internal political drum-beating. That may not be "funny" as such, but at least we have cause to be grateful that at least The Donald wants to be a wartime president on his own soil.

    US politics are, frankly speaking, insane. They've become that way because republicans have persistently dismantled or bypassed the democratic process for decades of painstaking, coordinated, hate-driven labor. And done so while most other americans were twiddling their thumbs and going "What, Me worry?"

    I think we all saw it when GWB was elected and Palin's demagoguery became the face of the GOP, but every american content with living in a free country should have realized, since the days of Reagan, that the old USSR and any other foreign threat paled to insignificance given the doom cult the US was brewing at home. It's Plato's old line about those who refuse to engage in politics then being forced to obey those who didn't.

    And I'm not the only european to draw parallels with the development in the US and the evolution of the last days of the Weimar. Another four years of Trump would be fucking terrible. But maybe if he manages to retain his seat and the bubble finally bursts - cue the grand uprising and a possible new civil war - then we may all be spared watching a new Hindenburg hopelessly meander the US right into the place where the next GOP candidate is Hitler v2 rather than the Barnum-esque Putin fan they've got at the moment.

    Because the US liberal movement has overslept. It's not just Trump. It's not a civil disagreement. It's a republican movement on par with what the US had right before the battle of Fort Sumter, driven by religious extremism and racism and spurred by political opportunism. It won't go away and the people currently floating Trump's ship won't sit and quietly simmer because in the end what they want is fuck liberals and go right back to the US of the '50's where men were "real" men, women were in the kitchen, and no one thought twice about calling the black dude a "n_gg_r" and show him his place.

    And they'll have this at any cost. It's a bit naíve this gets fixed or even stalled by democrats gaining the political momentum back. When senators and congressmen start throwing around serious suggestions about having the military go after protestors it's pretty clear any pretense of "good faith" was already out the window.

    Trump is fucking terrible. But he's a sad clown compared to what the GOP will come up with next. At least Mr "Prump" is our best bet for a laugh (albeit sour, dry and dark) over the coming decade of US politics.


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