Federal Judge Turns Down Request To Stop Upcoming WeChat Ban

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Ahead of a ban on WeChat downloads that is set to take effect, a federal judge turned down a request to stop a Friday (Sept. 18) Commerce Department mandate that will forbid American mobile program sellers from providing the app as a download beginning Sunday (Sept. 20), Reuters reported.

U.S. WeChat users asked for a preliminary injunction in a case filing, but Judge Laurel Beeler said the request was moot following the department’s order. However, she wrote that “the court is available today for a hearing on any emergency motions.”

In a Friday (Sept. 18) court filing, the Department of Justice recommended that the judge turn down the request. It noted that the president “has invoked his emergency powers to address (the WeChat) threat, and plaintiffs have articulated no legal basis for the Court to take the extraordinary step of enjoining his exercise of that authority.”

Reuters noted that the WeChat users’ attorney did not provide an instantaneous response.

The news comes after it was reported that President Donald Trump will follow through on his vow to prohibit downloads of WeChat and TikTok beginning Sunday (Sept. 20).

The Commerce Department announced on Sept. 18 that the bans on transactions are based on Trump’s executive order released in August over national security fears.

“At the president’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

In other news, investors in a new group aiming to purchase TikTok’s American operations are seeking to create a deal providing U.S. interests with a majority share in an effort to appease the Trump administration’s worries over foreign surveillance. Walmart and Oracle are intending to jointly own a significant share of the video-sharing app.

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