Senin, 28 September 2020

TikTok can continue to be downloaded from the United States for now, as judge halts app store ban - ABC News

A United States federal judge has postponed a Trump administration order that would have banned the popular video sharing app TikTok from US smartphone app stores.

A more comprehensive ban remains scheduled for November, about a week after the presidential election.

The judge, Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, did not agree to postpone the later ban.

The ruling followed an emergency hearing on Sunday morning (local time) in which lawyers for TikTok argued that the administration's app-store ban would infringe on First Amendment rights and do irreparable harm to the business.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump declared that TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, was a threat to national security and that it must either sell its US operations to American companies or be barred from the country.

TikTok is still scrambling to firm up a deal tentatively struck a week ago in which it would partner with Oracle, a huge database-software company, and Walmart in an effort to win the blessing of both the Chinese and American governments.

But key terms of the deal — including who will have majority ownership — are in dispute.

ByteDance has also said any deal will need to be approved by China.

Beijing has revised its list of technologies subject to export bans, in a way that gives it a say over any TikTok deal.

'Modern day version of a town square'

The US Commerce Department, which is responsible for the specific orders banning TikTok, said it will comply with the judge's order but intends to vigorously defend the administration's efforts against the app.

The logo for popular video social media sharing app TikTok on screen and on a phone.
The US Justice Department said Chinese companies including TikTok are subject to intrusive laws.(News Video)

Judge Nichols did not explain his reasoning publicly, and instead filed his judicial opinion under seal.

In arguments to Judge Nichols, TikTok lawyer John Hall said that TikTok was more than an app, since it functioned as a "modern day version of a town square".

"It would be no different than the Government locking the doors to a public forum, roping off that town square," Mr Hall said.

Justice Department lawyer Daniel Schwei said that Chinese companies were not purely private and were subject to intrusive laws compelling their cooperation with intelligence agencies.

Donald Trump looking serious in front of a row of American flags
President Donald Trump said the app must either sell its US operations to American companies or be barred from the country.(Reuters: Kevin Lamarque)

The Justice Department has also argued that economic regulations of this nature generally were not subject to First Amendment scrutiny.

"This is the most immediate national security threat," argued Mr Schwei.

"It is a threat today. It is a risk today and therefore it deserves to be addressed today even while other things are ongoing and playing out."

The White House said the video service is a security risk because the personal information of its millions of US users could be handed over to Chinese authorities.

Mr Trump said he could retract his approval if Oracle doesn't have "total control" of the company; the President did not explain what he meant by that.


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2020-09-28 07:54:00Z

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