A federal judge has temporarily blocked a US government ban of the social media app TikTok. Judge Carl Nichols described the ban as a “fairly significant deprivation” of due process.

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The full extent of Judge Carl Nichols’ opinion was issued under seal, and therefore was not made public.

The Commerce Department had previously announced that a ban on the download of TikTok would commence on September 20th and more restrictions would follow on November 12th.

“This case is about the freedom of expression,” said John Hall, an attorney for TikTok. “Yes, TikTok is an app, but it is more than that. It’s a modern-day version of a town square … and it’s huge. One hundred million users, a third of the country. If the prohibition goes into effect, the consequences would be great. It’d be no difference than the government locking everyone out from that town square, roping it off, telling a third of the country that it’s not interested in hearing you. And the government would take this action at a time when need for communication is at absolute zenith — 37 days before an election.”

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that the app is a threat to national security because its parent company is based in China.

“We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees,” the company said in a statement

[Via]