By Diane L. Gruber, 4/23/23
Want the FBI pounding on your door at 1:00 AM because you called or emailed your sister who is on vacation in New Zealand? The so-called Tik Tok Bill authorizes the US Department of Commerce to spy on and keep records of all your communications with anyone who is outside the country.
CALLED THE “TIK TOK” BILL TO FOOL THE PUBLIC
Sponsored by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), the “Tik Tok” bill’s real name is, wait for it: Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act or RESTRICT Act. Senate Bill 686 is being sold to the public on the notion that it will protect children from the unhealthy content on Tik Tok and stop the Chinese Communist Party from compiling data on every American user regardless of age.
This bill may or may not accomplish this task; but, it will allow the federal government to unilaterally designate any nation a “foreign adversary,” without any congressional oversight, and then ban online services and products even indirectly controlled by a company or business in that jurisdiction, and then penalize Americans who conduct virtually any sort of transaction with them. The bill would impose severe penalties on American citizens who seek any type of “transaction,” which is very broadly defined, with those services.
The penalties for violation of the Act, which could be as simple as using a VPN service to access a banned product like TikTok, are extraordinarily severe. The first tool in the government’s arsenal is a civil penalty of up to $250,000, imposed by the Secretary of Commerce on anyone who conducts a transaction that violates the act.
As bills from the Swamp go, the RESTRICT Act is relatively short because it leaves it to an un-elected bureaucrat, the Secretary of Commerce, and his/her Marxist minions, to decide who/what/where/how to target. Read full text by clicking here. Biden’s Secretary of Commerce is Gina Marie Raimondo, a radical Democrat.
SENDING AN EMAIL CAN LAND YOU IN PRISON
Under the RESTRICT Act a “transaction” is impossibly broad, classifying it as “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,” as well as“any other transaction, the structure of which is designed or intended to evade or circumvent the application of this Act.”
The $250,000 fine is the least of the penalties. American citizens found to be in violation of the Act would also face a potential criminal fine of up to $1 million, as well as a jail sentence of up to 20 years. And then there’s asset seizure: the Act allows the federal government to seize and access a laundry list of devices and services of American citizens. Access services? Will that prevent an American from buying groceries?
The DC Swamp can seize hardware devices like phones and computers, access points to the internet including cable and wireless, “e-commerce technology and services, including any electronic techniques for accomplishing business transactions” (a definition sufficiently broad to include every cryptocurrency), and even “quantum computing, post-quantum cryptography,” “advanced robotics,” and “biotechnology.”
As if all this is not oppressive enough, this Act grants the federal government immunity from public oversight, restricting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to the enforcement of the bill. You won’t know if the federal government has targeted you to spy on until you are already in handcuffs and they have handed your lawyer the criminal indictment. Do I even need to tell you that, with a Democrat in the White House, it will be Conservatives & Christians & “semi-Fascists” who will be persecuted the most?
The RESTRICT Act is essentially an American version of the Chinese “Great Firewall,” which cuts its citizens off from a wide swathe of the world wide web. Tell your two senators and your congressperson to vote NO on Senate Bill 686 by clicking here.