Commerce Department Won’t Enforce TikTok Shut Down Order

In a formal government notice issued this week, the Commerce Department stated that the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok won’t be shut down just yet.

NBC News reports that the popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok has successfully avoided being banned in the U.S. once again after the Commerce Department said in a formal government notice issued Thursday that it would not enforce its previous order forcing TikTok to shut down.

The decision is the latest in a saga that began last summer when the Trump administration issued an executive order that banned U.S. transactions with TikTok’s Chinese corporate owner, ByteDance, after issues of national security were raised.

On September 18, TikTok sued the Trump administration in federal court in Washington, DC, alleging that the ban was “unlawful and unconstitutional.” That same day, three popular TikTok stars sued Trump and the Commerce Department in a separate federal action in Philadelphia, stating that the executive order was “unconstitutionally overbroad and an impermissible prior restraint of speech.”

The courts ruled in favor of TikTok and by September 27 a federal judge in Washington, D.C., stated that a “preliminary injunction is appropriate,” ruling in favor of TikTok. On October 30th, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone granted a preliminary injunction in the Philadelphia case. Beetlestone stated that the government’s descriptions of TikTok’s alleged national security threat “are phrased in the hypothetical” and the government must put its ban on hold.

The Commerce Department stated in a four-page notice issued on Thursday that the Trump administration’s executive order “WILL NOT GO INTO EFFECT,” but TikTok is not in the clear yet, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear arguments in TikTok vs Trump on December 14.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at [email protected]

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