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 @ 8:31am

    Re:

    "We’ll need at least a decade, if not more, to undo the catastrophic damage he has done to the credibility of the U.S. on the global stage, the credibility of U.S. institutions that people trust for live-saving information (e.g., the CDC), the institution of the presidency itself, and American politics in general."

    It's not just Trump. McConnel, to name one example, has been quietly replacing judges on benches for his whole career while blocking democrat attempts to fill courts, and bears most of the blame for SCOTUS now holding - because they will - a 6-3 republican supermajority for the next 30-40 years or so. Effectively the constitution has been suspended for that time, wherever it does not clearly serve the current goals of the GOP.

    "The danger lies not so much in the would-be Fuhrers who may arise, but in the presence in our midst of certainly deeply running currents of hope and appetite and opinion...."

    Flynn is on the money with that sentence but the context makes it an ironically bad choice to use against Trump whose "America First" doctrine of isolationism would be music to Flynn's ears. He always strikes me as that guy who saw a lot of the coming dangers and still somehow managed to consistently stand on the side of the people most likely and willing to bring that danger into reality.

    If democrats manage to take and hold the oval office and both houses, for a consecutive eight years that still won't even shake the legacy of the GOP - and there's no indication that they'll sit quietly while the democrats do. Fact is, american liberals are only now slowly realizing that republicans, since the days of Reagan, don't see politics so much as they see a holy war to finally end all opposition to their "One (white!) nation under God" doctrine.

    The only way you get to "undo" that damage is by somehow removing the toxic culture subscribed to by the americans who truly believe that faith trumps science, that poor people themselves are to blame for being poor, that using public funds for the public good is somehow evil, and that a woman's place is in the kitchen and her body only conditionally her own.

    To borrow a phrase from history, you are a nation divided against itself. One side of which is, like in that former conflict, impossible to sway with arguments, and has been steadily working for decades with the full intent to ensure that democracy passes from US soil as soon as possible.

    And they've won. Fixing it by slapping a few thousand band-aids on top won't work. I don't think anything short of a full rebuild will.


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