Tag Archive : ruling

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Friday said it was appealing a judge’s decision to block the government from barring Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google from offering Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat for download in U.S. app stores.

The government said it was appealing the Sept. 19 preliminary junction issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The injunction blocked the U.S. Commerce Department order, which would also bar other U.S. transactions with Tencent Holding’s <0700.HK> WeChat, potentially making the app unusable in the United States.

A U.S. spokesman for Tencent did not immediately comment.

The Justice Department said earlier that Beeler’s order was in error and “permits the continued, unfettered use of WeChat, a mobile application that the Executive Branch has determined constitutes a threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United

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After that point, the White House will take additional steps to ban the app from all U.S. users. President Trump has said he would back off the ban if TikTok, which he views as a security risk, is sold to a U.S. owner (Oracle and Walmart are bidding for it) and ByteDance divests itself completely from the company.

It’s unclear what grounds Nichols ruled on. His opinion will be unsealed later today after both parties have a chance to review it for sensitive information. 

TikTok’s lawyers argued during the Sunday hearing that a ban on downloads would irreparably harm its business and the action was unnecessary as it tries to iron out a deal that meets White House approval. The Justice Department argued that a ban on downloads would leave TikTok’s business largely intact while preventing any new users from potentially putting their data at risk.

The Justice Department says

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A federal judge listened to arguments in a rare Sunday hearing ahead of making a crucial decision on whether to allow or block a Trump administration ban on downloads of the popular video-sharing app TikTok.

District Judge Carl Nichols, who has promised to rule on a TikTok request to block the president’s order before it takes effect at 11:59 pm Sunday (0359 GMT Monday), heard arguments on the free-speech and national security implications of the Trump ban on the Chinese-owned app.

TikTok lawyer John Hall said a ban would be “punitive” and close off a public forum used by tens of millions of Americans.

In a written brief ahead of the hearing, TikTok lawyers said the ban was “arbitrary and capricious” and “would undermine data security” by blocking updates and fixes to the app used by some 100 million Americans.

The company also said the ban was unnecessary because negotiations

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