Trump administration appeals court ruling blocking US TikTok ban

The Justice Department filed the appeal seeking to enforce a ban on TikTok by President Donald Trump, who has argued that the app's Chinese parent company may use TikTok for espionage and to spread disinformation.

Picture: 123rf.com

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration on Monday appealed a federal court ruling which allows TikTok to keep operating in the United States despite a move to block the popular social media application on national security grounds.

The Justice Department filed the appeal seeking to enforce a ban on TikTok by President Donald Trump, who has argued that the app's Chinese parent company may use TikTok for espionage and to spread disinformation.

The filing did not include arguments for enforcing the ban, which had been rejected earlier this month by US District Judge Carl Nichols and in a parallel case filed in Pennsylvania.

Nichols said TikTok's lawyers had demonstrated that the Commerce Department likely overstepped its authority by seeking to ban the popular social media app and "acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by failing to consider obvious alternatives."

The White House claims TikTok is a national security risk because of potential links to the Beijing government through its Chinese owner ByteDance.

Trump's order said the action was necessary to "protect our national security" and claimed the personal data of TikTok users could be used by Beijing.

TikTok has repeatedly defended itself against allegations of data transfers to the Chinese government, saying it stores user information on servers in the United States and Singapore.

TikTok has a further fight on its hands over a 14 August executive order from Trump to force ByteDance to sell its US operations to an American buyer.

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