The Department of Justice filed an appeal on Thursday of a judge’s order blocking a ban on TikTok downloads from going into effect.
The government is trying to bar users from downloading the app on the grounds that China could obtain data on U.S. citizens, posing a security threat. But on Sept. 27, Judge Carl Nichols granted an injunction that blocked the order from taking effect, finding that it unlawfully infringed on U.S. citizens’ ability to communicate.
The DOJ appealed the ruling to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday. It is not clear when the appeal will be heard.
The Trump administration also issued an order banning WeChat on similar grounds. The order, too, is on hold due after a San Francisco judge issued a preliminary injunction on Sept. 20. The government has likewise appealed that injunction.
President Trump directed the Commerce Department on Aug. 6 to develop orders that would prevent users from accessing the apps in the U.S. The department issued those orders on Sept. 18.
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The TikTok ban was initially supposed to go into effect on Sept. 20, but the Trump administration delayed the implementation by a week to allow time for a deal between ByteDance, TikTok’s Beijing-based owner, and Oracle and Walmart. The deal would allow Oracle and Walmart to take a 20% stake in a new entity, TikTok Global, but the proposal appears to be facing resistance from the Chinese government.
The ban on TikTok downloads remains on hold for now. The Commerce Department also issued orders that would degrade TikTok’s capabilities for existing users. Those orders are set to take effect on Nov. 12, and TikTok continues to seek to block them in the district court.