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Delicieuxz

California judge blocks US ban of WeChat, letting people WeChat another day

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Posted · Original PosterOP

US judge blocks Trump’s WeChat ban, halting removal of app from stores

Quote

A California judge on Sunday blocked the US Department of Commerce from enforcing President Donald Trump’s executive order that requires the Chinese messenger WeChat to be removed from app stores in the US.

...

However, hours before the ban was set to come into effect, US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the Northern California District Court issued an injunction on Sunday blocking the removal, saying that the move raised "serious questions" about free speech.

 

The lawsuit was brought by a group of WeChat users, who argued that there is no alternative app for Chinese Americans to use to communicate. They also claimed that, without updates from the Android and Apple app stores, WeChat would be essentially unusable.

 

"The United States has never shut down a major platform for communications, not even during war times,” a lawyer for the users said. “There are serious First Amendment problems with the WeChat ban, which targets the Chinese American community."

 

Trump’s WeChat Curbs Halted by Judge on Free Speech Concerns

Quote

WeChat “serves as a virtual public square for the Chinese-speaking and Chinese-American community in the United States and is (as a practical matter) their only means of communication,” the judge wrote in the ruling, dated Saturday and released early Sunday. Effectively banning it “forecloses meaningful access to communication in their community and thereby operates as a prior restraint on their right to free speech.”


The judge found the government provided insufficient evidence of a security threat. “Certainly the government’s overarching national-security interest is significant,” she wrote. “But 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.”

 

The Department of Justice and Commerce Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The government is likely to appeal the ruling.

 

The ruling will probably survive if it’s appealed to the Ninth Circuit, said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

 

Like TikTok, WeChat has narrowly avoided a ban in the US - but by different means. The more Chinese stuff that isn't banned on unsubstantiated grounds, the better, says I.

 

I wonder if the free-speech legal argument could have worked for TikTok, so that they wouldn't have had to partner with US companies to remain in operation in the US.

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Is it really that big of a deal? Like does anyone use WeChat outside of China?


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9 minutes ago, PCGuy_5960 said:

Is it really that big of a deal? Like does anyone use WeChat outside of China?

Yes, people who need to communicate with Chinese relatives/friends/business partners.


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I dont know what WeChat is and since its mentioned with TikTok, i dont wanna know what it is.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
19 minutes ago, PCGuy_5960 said:

Is it really that big of a deal? Like does anyone use WeChat outside of China?

From the second article in the OP:

 

"The app, which was supposed to disappear from U.S. app stores on Sunday, has 19 million regular users in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide."

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2 minutes ago, Delicieuxz said:

From the second article in the OP:

 

"The app, which was supposed to disappear from U.S. app stores on Sunday, has 19 million regular users in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide."

Even if they ban it in the US,people on Android can still download the app from a third party non US store...


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11 minutes ago, Praesi said:

I dont know what WeChat is and since its mentioned with TikTok, i dont wanna know what it is.

I'll tell you anyways! it's like discord, fb, dating app, google pay and tons of other stuff in 1 app (and ironically often used to get in contact with outsiders and other stuff the Chinese government doesn't exactly approve)

 

it's really well made and easy to use, I only used it for a week or so to get some Chinese mods, it was overall a very pleasant experience...

 

can totally see many people chinese or not using it.

 

(I'd give it a 9/10)

 

 

you can also shake your phone and get suggestions for "dates"  it's really funny hahaha

 

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1 hour ago, Delicieuxz said:

US judge blocks Trump’s WeChat ban, halting removal of app from stores

 

Trump’s WeChat Curbs Halted by Judge on Free Speech Concerns

 

Like TikTok, WeChat has narrowly-avoided a ban in the US - but by different means. The more Chinese stuff that isn't banned on unsubstantiated grounds, the better, says I.

 

I wonder if the free-speech legal argument could have worked for TikTok, so that they wouldn't have had to partner with US companies to remain in operation in the US.

It's unlikely that WeChat is that much of a security issue unless there is actual proof, and really the better way to go about it would be to mandate the use of specific text messaging/chat programs on government/enterprise devices, and block unsanctioned tools from communicating on the WAN.

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1 hour ago, PCGuy_5960 said:

Is it really that big of a deal? Like does anyone use WeChat outside of China?

It's been used to as a platform for underground Ubers and trading. I wouldn't be surprised if it was used to help sell Vancouver real estate to offshore buyers in China. Many of foreign property owners have never stepped foot into their properties or have personally inspected them. 


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53 minutes ago, Mark Kaine said:

I'll tell you anyways! it's like discord, fb, dating app, google pay and tons of other stuff in 1 app (and ironically often used to get in contact with outsiders and other stuff the Chinese government doesn't exactly approve)

 

it's really well made and easy to use, I only used it for a week or so to get some Chinese mods, it was overall a very pleasant experience...

 

can totally see many people chinese or not using it.

 

(I'd give it a 9/10)

 

 

you can also shake your phone and get suggestions for "dates"  it's really funny hahaha

 

¯\_༼ •́ ͜ʖ •̀ ༽_/¯

Ya thx. Not my cup of tea. And since when does the Chinese have such an impact on us? Every Day i read Chinese here Chinese there. I dont give a fuck about Chinese, what they want or what they like. Movies try to apply to them, Games try to apply to them..wtf.


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1 hour ago, PCGuy_5960 said:

Is it really that big of a deal? Like does anyone use WeChat outside of China?

Actually yes lol, even people like me who were born in America and know literally nobody in China use it, since the cell service is so awful in my area my friend who is Chinese uses it to text/call me, despite living only a few streets away.

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1 hour ago, PCGuy_5960 said:

Is it really that big of a deal? Like does anyone use WeChat outside of China?

oh you dont even know.

 

you dont even know.

 

as someone who uses wechat, EVERY SINGLE FAMILY I KNOW has wechat

if wechat was to disappear, how is my family to contact other family in china?


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I initially throught it was a platform to encrypt data and send messages from foreign countries back to China.

But it appears that China has firewalled all the other chat programs except this one so anyone from China who moves to AU, USA can only talk to their family or friends in China on Wechat.

The data being sent back to China is likely being read by CCP which is more than likely why its being blocked.

But again all we are hearing is its being blocked, none of the claims of why? what do they know, tell the people ?


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Wechat and Tiktok are definitely security risks at least in regards to national security for the United States.  Wechat at least is known to be a pretty big app in China and sends a lot of data to the CCP.  

 

I think, however, that banning the apps isn't the answer.   The truth is, the United States conducts similar operations with Facebook and Google.  No doubt China also conducts proper nation-sponsored attacks just like the United States does. 

 

The US should keep an eye on TikTok and pay attention to any CCP propaganda, and run regular in-depth audits of the app (perhaps yearly?).  The US should avoid being like China, and censoring anything that is potentially harmful to views of the state.  

 

People who want to download those apps should understand that it contains Chinese Spyware and should be advised of this fact.  If they continue to use the app, it is their problem. 

 

My opinion is that:

 

The US must enforce very strict rules for anyone who works for the government and should ban anyone from using these apps if they work for the government, or on any device that will, at any time, be connected to the same network as a government work device.  

 

The US should also work with companies and any companies are used, sponsored or affiliated with the US government in any way should have it in their work agreement that apps that are known to by Chinese Spyware are not to be used by any means on the same network as a government work device. 

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4 hours ago, PCGuy_5960 said:

Is it really that big of a deal? Like does anyone use WeChat outside of China?

Sarcasm is hard to convey in prose.  I once saw it suggested that all sarcasm should be marked using green type, but there was some sort of problem or other with that.


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2 minutes ago, Akolyte said:

Wechat and Tiktok are definitely security risks at least in regards to national security for the United States.  Wechat at least is known to be a pretty big app in China and sends a lot of data to the CCP.  

 

I think, however, that banning the apps isn't the answer.   The truth is, the United States conducts similar operations with Facebook and Google.  No doubt China also conducts proper nation-sponsored attacks just like the United States does. 

 

The US should keep an eye on TikTok and pay attention to any CCP propaganda, and run regular in-depth audits of the app (perhaps yearly?).  The US should avoid being like China, and censoring anything that is potentially harmful to views of the state.  

 

People who want to download those apps should understand that it contains Chinese Spyware and should be advised of this fact.  If they continue to use the app, it is their problem. 

 

My opinion is that:

 

The US must enforce very strict rules for anyone who works for the government and should ban anyone from using these apps if they work for the government, or on any device that will, at any time, be connected to the same network as a government work device.  

 

The US should also work with companies and any companies are used, sponsored or affiliated with the US government in any way should have it in their work agreement that apps that are known to by Chinese Spyware are not to be used by any means on the same network as a government work device. 

I would substitute “potential” for “definite” since one doesn’t seem to have been found. Doesnt really alter the point though.


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I think we should just have the thousands of friends and family and business partners in the US that rely on WeChat to communicate with people in China stop communicating with each other altogether. In fact, since the CCP probably also monitor phone calls to and from China, might as well have the US government stop phone calls to China too /s.

 

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4 hours ago, Kisai said:

It's unlikely that WeChat is that much of a security issue unless there is actual proof...

And you won't get that proof. But I will say this; WeChat works because the Chinese Government allows it. Let that sink in for a moment.

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4 hours ago, Car712 said:

Actually yes lol, even people like me who were born in America and know literally nobody in China use it, since the cell service is so awful in my area my friend who is Chinese uses it to text/call me, despite living only a few streets away.

It's momentum and degrees of separation. 

 

You use it because your friends use it, because they keep in touch with family overseas....etc.

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8 minutes ago, StDragon said:

And you won't get that proof. But I will say this; WeChat works because the Chinese Government allows it. Let that sink in for a moment.

In much the same way that we chat works because this judge allows it? Or differently?  


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Just now, Bombastinator said:

In much the same way that we chat works because this judge allows it? Or differently?  

I mean, China is moving towards a method of IP white-listing where the ministry of culture ostensibly has dominion over the process. Zoom and Skype were allowed because of weak or no encryption. WeChat only works because either the encryption is weak, or they have an escrowed key to access what traverses through the network and/or "great firewall of china"

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2 hours ago, Akolyte said:

-snip- 

Ummmmmm........ WOW. 

1.) This is a very political statement, and as politics are not allowed in the fourm, I will not comment on it.

2.) There is absolutely no proof that either of these apps are a sucurity risk.


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1 minute ago, StDragon said:

I mean, China is moving towards a method of IP white-listing where the ministry of culture ostensibly has dominion over the process. Zoom and Skype were allowed because of weak or no encryption. WeChat only works because either the encryption is weak, or they have an escrowed key to access what traverses through the network and/or "great firewall of china"

So the comment is effectively that wechat encryption is effectively useless.  There are lots of apps with this problem.  


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1 minute ago, Bombastinator said:

So the comment is effectively that wechat encryption is effectively useless.  There are lots of apps with this problem.  

My only assertion is that WeChat still works because it's allowed to work. And the criteria is typically that the Government have access either knowingly or unknowingly.

 

Do I have proof that WeChat is compromised to that degree? No. But I certainty wouldn't be using it. In fact, I'd strongly advocate it blocked by all CIOs in corporate America. Though you can't stop cell phone use of it which is where it's used. But you can block it at the WiFi if going through corporate firewall.

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