Congress is acting bipartisanly to rush through a law that will stop the use of TikTok in the United States. As you read through the vague and broad bill, you might suspect it is more about blocking free speech and accessing all your private data.
The Restrict Act (S.686), dubbed the Ban TikTok Act, is not about banning TikTok as much as controlling American free speech. It was introduced by a Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, and a Republican, Sen. John Thune, and that’s as far as it has gotten.
The Restrict Act would allow the Feds access to all the data on our devices, including Ring and home security apps…and it’ll be a crime to use a privacy device. If you use a VPN, you could get 20 years in prison and a million-dollar fine on the say-so of the Secretary of Commerce.
All Internet users would lose their right to privacy. The government could freely, and without your permission, review, prosecute, and take possession of your personal information. They can ban any game, application, or anything.
The law is vague, and with this kind of power, the federal government could silence free speech with little effort.
Without any input from Congress, the Secretary of Commerce decides if your transaction involves a foreign adversary, and you could end up in prison.
“To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to review and prohibit certain transactions between persons in the United States and foreign adversaries and for other purposes.”
“TRANSACTION.—The term “transaction” means any acquisition, importation, transfer, installation, dealing in, or use of any information and communications technology product or service, including ongoing activities such as managed services, data transmission, software updates, repairs, or the provision of data hosting services, or a class of such transactions.”
The timing section is broad.
The term “covered transaction” includes a current, past, or potential future transaction.Text – S.686 – 118th Congress (2023-2024): RESTRICT Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress