U.S. faces ongoing court battles over TikTok, WeChat bans


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: TikTok’s logo is displayed on the smartphone while standing on the U.S. flag in this illustration

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration faces ongoing court battles after two legal setbacks in its efforts to bar U.S. app stores from offering Chinese-owned TikTok or WeChat for download.

In two separate rulings, judges have questioned the evidence that data from American users is being accessed by the Chinese government imperiling U.S. national security that prompted the extraordinary orders by the U.S. Commerce Department.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, who issued an order late Sunday blocking the TikTok download ban that was set for 11:59 p.m. Sunday, questioned the government’s evidence.

“The government has provided ample evidence that China presents a significant national security threat, although the specific evidence of the threat posed by (TikTok), as well as whether the prohibitions are the only effective way to address that threat, remains less substantial,” Nichols wrote in an opinion released Monday.

In the WeChat case, Judge Laurel Beeler in California wrote that “on this record — while the government has established that China’s activities raise significant national security concerns — it has put in scant little evidence that its effective ban of WeChat for all U.S. users addresses those concerns.”

Beeler set a Oct. 15 hearing on the Justice Department’s request she reconsider her ruling and allow the WeChat order to take immediate effect.

TikTok owner ByteDance and WeChat owner Tencent Holdings (HK:) have denied the apps are used for spying on Americans.

READ  Thomson Reuters reports higher first-quarter sales and operating profit

Nichols, a Trump appointee, anticipated further legal filings by both the government and TikTok before a final decision on whether to block other restrictions set for Nov. 12.

Nichols also rejected the Justice Department’s effort to invoke the Espionage Act, which authorizes life imprisonment or the death penalty for those who share U.S. defense secrets.

“It is not plausible that the films, photos, art, or even personal information U.S. users share on TikTok fall within the plain meaning of the Espionage Act,” Nichols wrote.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here