U.S. government appeals judge’s ruling to block WeChat app store ban

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Friday said it was appealing a judge’s decision to block the government from barring Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google from offering Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat for download in U.S. app stores.

The government said it was appealing the Sept. 19 preliminary junction issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The injunction blocked the U.S. Commerce Department order, which would also bar other U.S. transactions with Tencent Holding’s <0700.HK> WeChat, potentially making the app unusable in the United States.

A U.S. spokesman for Tencent did not immediately comment.

The Justice Department said earlier that Beeler’s order was in error and “permits the continued, unfettered use of WeChat, a mobile application that the Executive Branch has determined constitutes a threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United

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Diversity training startup lost a client to Trump’s ban, CEO says

  • Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson said in a tweet Thursday that a recent executive order from the Trump administration banning certain types of diversity training at federal contractors already caused her to lose a a client.
  • Emerson said the type of training her startup provides does not violate the executive order, but that this company ended it just to “play it safe.”
  • She said that other companies are holding off on diversity training altogether because of confusion over the order.
  • Paradigm is especially known for providing training to Silicon Valley startups and big tech firms, which have historically struggled to achieve representation of minorities in their workforces and C-suites.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The CEO of a diversity training consulting firm said Thursday that her company has already lost a client due to President Trump’s recent executive order.

 

“We just lost our

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U.S. appeals judge’s ruling to block WeChat app store ban

FILE PHOTO: The messenger app WeChat is seen among U.S. flags in this illustration picture taken Aug. 7, 2020. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Friday said it was appealing a judge’s decision to block the government from barring Apple Inc AAPL.O and Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL.O Google from offering Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat for download in U.S. app stores.

The government said it was appealing to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals the Sept. 19 preliminary junction issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler. The injunction blocked the U.S. Commerce Department order, which would also bar other U.S. transactions with Tencent Holding’s 0700.HK WeChat, potentially making the app unusable in the United States.

A U.S. spokesman for Tencent did not immediately comment.

The Justice Department said earlier that Beeler’s order was in error and “permits the continued, unfettered use of WeChat, a mobile application

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Coinbase Workers Rattled by Politics Ban and Fear Being Muzzled

(Bloomberg) — Coinbase Inc.’s clampdown on discussing politics and activism at work — and the offer of severance packages to employees who don’t want to comply — continues to ripple through the cryptocurrency exchange and Silicon Valley.



a group of people standing in a living room: Inside the Coinbase Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., in 2017.


© Bloomberg
Inside the Coinbase Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., in 2017.

Many employees were shocked by Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong’s blog post imposing the rules Sunday, and some are concerned that he is trying to stymie discourse that should be happening, according to two people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified. Neither knew of anyone taking an exit package from the San Francisco-based company, but employees have until Oct. 7 to apply.

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Jack Dorsey, Twitter Inc.’s CEO and a noted Bitcoin advocate, criticized Armstrong’s ban on politics, saying late Wednesday the change runs counter to the core principles of cryptocurrencies. Other veterans of

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Google workers say NDAs ban whistleblowing, violate free speech

  • Google contractors alleged in a lawsuit that they were required to sign illegal nondisclosure agreements that prevented them from whistleblowing and violated their free speech rights.
  • According to a California court’s discussion of the legal proceedings, the workers claimed Google’s rules barred them from reporting “violations of state and federal law,” “unsafe or discriminatory working conditions,” and “wage and hour violations.”
  • The workers, some of whom were employed via the staffing agency Adecco, claimed they couldn’t even write “novels” or “reassure their parents they are making enough money to pay their bills.”
  • Google’s contract workers have increasingly raised issues over how they’re treated compared to full-time employees.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google contractors have alleged in a lawsuit that they’re required to sign illegal nondisclosure agreements that violate their rights of “competition, whistleblowing, and freedom of speech” under California law.

In the lawsuit, which a California appellate

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A PC gaming site had to ban political troll mods for games, because nowhere is safe

NexusMods, a large platform and gathering place for modding PC games, has banned all content relating to the U.S. elections following a flood of troll content, saying “we’ve decided to wipe our hands clean of this mess.” Not exactly headline news, no, but a reminder that the toxic behavior frequently seen (and blamed) on social media is pervasive even in niches where politics would seem to be completely irrelevant.

“Modding” (as in modifying) is the practice of creating new content for games that players can then install on their own, for example adding new levels or characters, or adjusting the interface or difficulty. NexusMods is one of the larger collections of such mods and a lively community.

Unfortunately, even something as simple as a way to add decorative tapestries to Skyrim is a proxy political battleground, with numerous mods appearing to, for example, replace generic enemies in a game with

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Twitter says monitoring service does not violate surveillance ban

Twitter said Tuesday a service that monitors tweets for police, alerting them to brewing social justice protests and more, does not break the platform’s ban on being used for surveillance.

Twitter defended letting the service, Dataminr, tap into the flow of public tweets to send alerts to police or other government agencies about plans for protests or civil disobedience, such as those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Twitter prohibits the use of our developer services for surveillance purposes. Period,” a spokesman for the San Francisco-based company said in reply to an AFP inquiry.

“We see a societal benefit in public Twitter data being used for news alerting, first responder support, and disaster relief.”

The stance provokes a debate as to what exactly constitutes surveillance.

Dataminr is a social media-monitoring service that uses artificial intelligence to comb platforms such as Twitter for user-determined keywords.

In recent months, Dataminr has

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TikTok ban on new downloads delayed by federal judge

tiktok-tik-tok-united-states-tru

TikTok’s ban has been temporarily delayed.

A US District Court judge has granted TikTok’s request for a preliminary injunction, delaying a planned ban on new downloads of the app that was supposed to go into effect starting Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The US Justice Department had until Friday to either delay the ban or file legal papers defending it. The DOJ filed a sealed opposition to TikTok’s preliminary injunction to block the ban of the video app, but Judge Carl Nichols of the District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled in TikTok’s favor. 

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” TikTok said in a statement. “We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees. At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with

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Preteens Rejoice! Federal Judge Delays TikTok Ban

A U.S federal judge has said that a ban on TikTok—scheduled for Monday, Sept. 28—will not go ahead as planned. The delay will allow users to access the app on various app stores while the court explores the legality of banning a consumer application on security grounds.



a close up of a sign


© Photo: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP (Getty Images)


TikTok, by Chinese software house ByteDance, has filed a lawsuit and one injunction request against the ban since Sept. 18. The U.S. government filed its opposition to the injunction on Friday and made its case in a hearing to D.C. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols on Sunday. Nichols’ unexpected ruling has stopped the immediate ban outright.

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In an opposition document filed on Friday, the U.S. government noted that the ban was not a regulation of personal communications and does not violate the First Amendment.

“The regulation of a single service provider is

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TikTok escapes ban again, big week ahead, and more tech news you need to know

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Monday, 28 September 2020.

1. TikTok saga continues (Part IV)

Sorry (again) but the TikTok saga continues, and continues with the Sunday evening events that shape the start of the week.

The latest, at least, is pretty straightforward: as a ban was set to come into force prohibiting new downloads of TikTok, a US judge temporarily blocked the White House executive order (Reuters).

  • Four hours before the ban was set to start, US district judge Carl Nichols granted a preliminary injunction sought by ByteDance, meaning the app remains on US app stores.
  • The judge’s reasoning was sealed, but is expected to be released this morning. The actual order is readable via DocumentCloud.
  • What we do know is that Nichols declined “at this time,” to add further blocks, including on potential more strict Commerce Department restrictions that will
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