A federal judge in San Francisco blocked an effort from the Justice Department to remove the Chinese app WeChat from American app stores.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler denied on Friday a DOJ request that she reverse her September decision to block a Commerce Department order that would have required the removals.
The Justice Department attempted to present new evidence that the app presents a national security threat. Beeler determined the new information was not enough to change her mind.
The DOJ appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but a decision on the matter is unlikely to come before December.
“The record does not support the conclusion that the government has ‘narrowly tailored’ the prohibited transactions to protect its national-security interests,” Beeler wrote. She added that the evidence “supports the conclusion that the restrictions ‘burden substantially more speech than is necessary to further the government’s legitimate interests.'”
WeChat is a Chinese social media app that allows users to communicate in a variety of different ways. It has 19 million daily active users in the United States and is primarily popular among those with ties to China.
The popular video-sharing app TikTok has garnered similar concerns from the government. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company.
The U.S. government has made an effort to disallow new downloads of TikTok in the U.S., but so far, they have been unable to do so.
Tags: News, Social Media, China
Original Author: Haley Victory Smith
Original Location: Judge blocks government request to remove Chinese app WeChat from app stores