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Justice Department asks judge to allow the US to bar WeChat from app stores in-country

WeChat The US Department of Justice appealed to a federal judge in San Francisco on Friday morning to stop allowing Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to offer Veitch for download in the U.S. App Store.

Filing in the USMagistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to place on hold her preliminary injunction issued Saturday. That injunction blocked the U.S. Department of Commerce order which was set to require effect late on Sept. 20 which would also bar other U.S. transactions with Tencent Holding’s WeChat, potentially making the app unusable within us.

A Department of Justice filing said Beeler’s order was in error and “allows the continued, unfiltered use of WeChat, a mobile application that the main branch has determined. the threat to the national security and policy of us .”

Tencent had suggested a “mitigation proposal” that sought to make a replacement U.S. version of the app, deploy specific security measures to guard the new apps ASCII text file, partner with the U.S. The cloud provider for user data storage, and manages the new app through a U.S.-based entity, the filing said.

However, its proposal still allowed Tencent to retain ownership of WeChat and didn’t address U.S. concerns over the corporate, it added.

Tencent declined to comment.

The U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, the group behind the legal challenge to the WeChat ban, didn’t immediately answer an invitation for comment.

In support of its argument, the Department of Justice made public portions of a Sept. 17 Department of Commerce memo outlining the WeChat transactions to be banned. “The WeChat mobile application collects and transmits sensitive personal information about US individuals, is accessible to Tencent, and is stored in data centers in China and Canada,” the memo read.

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Beeler said that WeChat users who filed the lawsuit “have seriously questioned the merits of the primary amendment claim.”

The Justice Filing Department said, “First Amendment does not stop the regulation of WeChat, as it gets the recognition and dependency sought by (China), well then it can survey the users, promote its publicity.” May, and may otherwise include US national security. Danger. “

The government asked Bealer to take a quick decision after a ruling in October. 1 on its request to remain her order pending appeal.

WeChat has had a mean of 19 million daily active users within us, analytics firms Apptopia said in early August. it’s popular among Chinese students, Americans living in China, and a few Americans who have personal or business relationships in China.

Bealer writes, “Of course the government’s high-armed national-security interest is important. On the record – while the government has established that China’s activities raise significant national security concerns – it is said in very little evidence that WeChat’s effective ban for all US users addresses those concerns. “

WeChat is an all-in-one mobile app that mixes services almost like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Venmo. The app is an important part of lifestyle for several in China and boasts quite 1 billion users.

TikTok on Wednesday sought an identical preliminary injunction from a U.S. judge in Washington who gave the govt until Friday at 2:30 p.m. to reply to the requestor delay the U.S. app store ban on new TikTok downloads that’s set to require effect late on Sunday.

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Justice Department asks judge to allow the US to bar WeChat from app stores in-country