Trump’s ban on WeChat won’t affect users, Justice Department says

Trump’s ban on WeChat won’t affect users, Justice Department says


The US government says “currently” has no plans to prosecute WeChat users for downloading or using the app.

Budrul Chukrut / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

The threatened ban on WeChat by the Trump administration is not aimed at people who use or download the Chinese-owned app, the administration said on Wednesday. The government filing was in response to a Lawsuit filed in August by a group of WeChat users It is unconstitutional not to be affiliated with the company behind the app that argued President Donald Trump’s ban.

Trump signed an order banning US transactions on WeChat on Aug. 6, calling Chinese giant TenCent’s messaging app a “significant” threat to national security. The user group’s lawsuit sought an injunction against Executive Ordinance that was described as “vaguely worded” and provided no evidence that WeChat posed a threat to US national security.

The Justice Department said in the filing that it had informed WeChat users that the order did not prohibit their use of the app without addressing the concerns central to their legal challenge.

“While the Department of Commerce continues to investigate a number of transactions, including those that could directly or indirectly affect the use of the WeChat app, we can assure you that the secretary does not intend to take any action aimed at any person or group their only connection with WeChat is their use or downloading of the app to convey personal or business information between users or otherwise define the relevant transactions in such a way as to impose a criminal or civil liability on those users, “the administration said in a filing with Northern California District Court (see below).

In other words, while the use of the App for such communications could be directly or indirectly affected by actions aimed at other transactions, the use and download of the App for that limited purpose is not a defined transaction and such users will not specifically addressed or punished. “

In the August 23rd lawsuit filed by WeChat users, Trump’s orders said “target and silence WeChat users, the vast majority of whom are members of the Chinese and Chinese-speaking communities,” the complaint read. “It governs constitutional language, expression, and association and is not narrowly tailored to restrict only language that poses a national security risk to the United States.”

The WeChat user group responded that the administration filing did not address the concerns set out in their challenge.

“Defendants'” representations and representations “in their notice of implementation are nowhere near the requirements required to resolve the serious and material problems of the first and fifth amendments introduced by the [executive order]”Said the WeChat user group in a subsequent filing on Wednesday (see below). Instead, the filing of the defendants shows that an injunction is necessary and appropriate to maintain the status quo and the irreparable loss of rights pending a full decision in the matter of preventing. “”

Trump imposed comprehensive bans on WeChat and the Chinese tech app TikTok on August 6. He cited concerns that data TikTok and WeChat are collecting “huge amounts of information from its users” from their US users. There is also concern that Chinese companies may not be able to refuse requests from the ruling Chinese Communist Party for access to this data. A law from 2017 is often cited by critics of China, according to which Chinese companies and citizens are obliged to comply with all national security issues.

A motion by the Trump administration in the same court on Tuesday assured TikTok employees that the app was banned wouldn’t affect their paychecks or performance or prosecute them for their work.

The filing of the Ministry of Justice:

WeChat User Vs Donald Trump by jonathan_skillings

The answer from the WeChat user group:

WeChat users respond to Trump administration filing by jonathan_skillings on Scribd

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