Well, apparently we’re still pretending the rule of law exists in America.
Either that, or the Chinese bought off this judge.
(The Chinese almost certainly bought off this judge.)
A judge has approved a request from a group of U.S. WeChat users to delay looming federal government restrictions that could effectively make the popular app nearly impossible to use.
In a ruling dated Saturday, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California said the government’s actions would affect users’ First Amendment rights as an effective ban on the app removes their platform for communication.
WeChat is a messaging-focused app popular with many Chinese-speaking Americans that serves as a lifeline to friends, family, customers and business contacts in China. It’s owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent.
The group of WeChat users had requested an injunction after the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it would bar WeChat from U.S. app stores and keep it from accessing essential internet services in the country, beginning Sunday night at 11:59 p.m.
The Trump administration has targeted WeChat and another Chinese-owned app, TikTok, for national security and data privacy concerns in the latest flashpoint in the rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. The administration contends that the data of U.S. users collected by the two apps could be shared with the Chinese government.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump said he supported a proposed deal that would have TikTok partner with Oracle and WalMart to form a U.S. company. There is still a chance that TikTok could be banned in the U.S. as of Nov. 12 if the deal isn’t completed, under the restrictions put in place by the Commerce Department.
If the Chinese didn’t buy off the judge, then this judge just didn’t understand the situation, and thought he was just supposed to block anything Trump did.
The banning of Chinese tech is purely intended to ensure that American tech monopolies do not have any form of competition, at all.
It turned out that Trump was bluffing on TikTok. He said Saturday that they just had to sell some shares to Americans, which is kind of not really that big of a deal and doesn’t end up helping Facebook and Google. It also doesn’t put him in a situation to be hated by tens of millions of horny teenagers because of a stupid Mike Pompeo/Israeli plot against the Chinese.
WeChat wasn’t even accused by Pompeo the Hutt of hacking or whatever the hell. It was just banned apparently because the US government doesn’t want any competition with the monopoly tech companies they contract to spy on everyone and control free speech, and because they just want to make China mad.
Most importantly: it ensures that the Chinese can’t start deciding to grant free speech to oppressed Americans. That is to say: the US is banning Chinese apps for the same reason that the US whines about China banning American apps. (Of course the situation is a little bit different, because America wants to force China to allow their apps in the market so that the CIA can use the apps to incite an uprising against the government.)
This whole situation has really ripped any remaining shred of mask off of the claim by the US government and media that we have a free market economy in this country. It is simply a lie, designed to help the ultra-rich oppress the masses, and to help communists attack white people.
WeChat is actually a really good app. It would probably make sense for right-wingers to start using it if it doesn’t end up getting banned. It’s probably more secure than any of the others.