The DOJ is not going to let Chinese citizens off the hook

The DOJ is not going to let Chinese citizens off the hook

Justice Dept. Charges 2 Chinese Citizens With Spying for Huawei

from the but-it-really-doesn’t-matter dept

I think the DOJ really wants to be seen as pro-active and forward looking. That is, they want their lawyers to argue, “if the court finds that the defendant committed a crime here, it must follow that this is a good thing for American security. It also means that all of the defendant’s communications will be covered by one of these orders.” But why would they need to include the Chinese citizens? If the Huawei case is about trying to stop foreign spies from stealing American tech, then the DOJ is almost certainly not going to show any restraint in pushing to let Chinese citizens off the hook.

The Justice Department plans to seek an emergency stay of a U.S. District Court judge’s ruling Monday that found the government had spied on Huawei Technologies Co. but didn’t have evidence the company was involved in espionage.

A Justice Department lawyer told a federal appeals court on Friday that the Justice Department plans to appeal the lower-court decision to the Supreme Court. The case is related to the federal investigation in Washington D.C. into possible national security abuses tied to companies in China, including Huawei.

In the latest case, the lawyer said that if the lower court had been correct in holding that the Justice Department had probable cause to open a criminal investigation, it should have been allowed to file the case.

“The bottom line is that the Department of Justice has not established probable cause to believe that Huawei was involved in international telecommunications surveillance, or international cybersecurity fraud,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling wrote in the court filing.

The Justice Department filed the appeal late last week after the judge in the case, Rudolph Contreras, issued a preliminary ruling last month holding that there had “probable cause” that Huawei was involved in the alleged espionage.

“It is my hope that by the time the Supreme Court hears this case no longer must our nation be concerned about the privacy of the United States,” Lelling wrote. “Huawei should not be subjected to the criminal prosecution in this case.”

The company is the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier and a close Chinese ally of the Chinese government, providing the technology for the country’s telecom networks. Huawei has also been a major ally of the U.S. intelligence community.

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