A U.S. judge has said that the Trump administration must either defend or delay its TikTok ban by Friday afternoon. As reported by Reuters, the government must respond to TikTok's legal challenge by 2:30 p.m. EDT Friday.
This follows TikTok's request for a preliminary injunction this week. What this means is that TikTok has asked to delay the decision on the ban until after the company's lawsuit has concluded.
This all comes after Trump insisted upon total U.S. control over TikTok following a partnership deal which saw Oracle and Walmart acquire some of the company.
However, the Trump administration was not satisfied with the deal thus meaning the ban would come into force on September 27.
Now it looks like the story may have another twist as TikTok's legal challenge could take hold. The U.S. government now has a race against time to challenge TikTok's request for a preliminary injunction or see the ban delayed.
The U.S. Government must respond to TikTok's legal challenge
It has now emerged that TikTok's request for a preliminary injunction has somewhat taken hold. This has led to U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols has said the government must file a response to the request.
Otherwise, the preliminary injunction will take hold and the download ban on TikTok will get delayed. The U.S. Commerce Department said that it had plans to challenge the injunction.
However, as of yet no challenge has materialized and now it looks like the government face a ticking clock to produce one.
TikTok's response to the restrictions on its activity has been stark. The U.S. government said it the ban came out of concerns for the data of over 100 million users.
However, TikTok said that the restrictions "were not motivated by a genuine national security concern, but rather by political considerations relating to the upcoming general election".
This adds another layer to an already complex and quick-moving story. The state of TikTok's ban has flip-flopped back and forwards for a number of weeks now.
When Oracle Walmart seemed to get a deal done things looked positive for the app. However, the Trump administration seems hell-bent on making sure the ban sticks.
Now though, it looks like TikTok's legal challenges have bared some fruit. Whether Trump is forced to delay the ban on TikTok remains to be seen.
However, what we know for sure is that this story will continue to run for a while yet. This injunction at best will delay the ban not prevent it so there is plenty more to be heard from both TikTok and the government.