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If Republicans succeed at banning TikTok, you can say goodbye to Infowars and Brighteon, too
By Ethan Huff // Mar 25, 2024

Conservative lawmakers are utterly embarrassing themselves by trying to ban TikTok while also claiming to support free speech and the First Amendment.

Republicans' goal is to simply put a stop to TikTok, and no other social media platform, because the social media app is Chinese (fact check: TikTok's CEO is Shou Zi Chew, a Singaporean). However, it is not that simple, and the right is learning this in real-time while also making a complete fool of itself.

Legislation called the RESTRICT Act, short for the "Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act" – yikes that's a mouthful – would allow the Secretary of Commerce to blacklist any tech product, service, or company linked to a "national adversary," in this case China, as decided by the secretary.

So, what exactly is a "foreign threat?" That is a good question. And how would the secretary mitigate it in the context of a platform like TikTok? That is another good question. The answer to both of these questions is the same: whatever the Secretary of Commerce arbitrarily decides.

(Related: Be sure to check out our earlier coverage about why the anti-TikTok RESTRICT Act is an Orwellian nightmare for internet free speech and cannot be allowed to pass.)

RESTRICT Act, the PATRIOT Act for the internet

The obvious problem with the RESTRICT Act is its subjectively broad-reaching definitions for things like "foreign threat" and "mitigation." Just about anything could, in some stretch of the imagination, be dubbed a foreign threat and targeted as such for elimination.

This means that not just TikTok but all sorts of other platforms, including Infowars and Brighteon, could find themselves being targeted for elimination based on the "foreign threat" concept.

As Greg Price explained on X, the RESTRICT Act is basically just the PATRIOT Act, for those who lived through 9/11, but for the internet.

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"It gives the government the ability to go after anyone they deem as a national security risk at which point they can access everything from their computer to video games to their Ring light," Price warns.

"Believe it or not, it gets even worse: If you [sic] find you in violation, they can put you in jail for 20 years, fine you $1M, and seize your property ... They can also deem any foreign government an adversary without informing congress [sic] and everything they do is not subjected to FOIA."

In other words, Republicans in Congress are trying to pass what amounts to a Stasi Act right here in the United States because they simply cannot stand the fact that TikTok is allowed to exist and be used in this country.

What is worse, the Biden regime is in full agreement with the proposition of a RESTRICT Act, stating that it is "very in favor" of its passage. This just goes to show that right and left are just two wings on the same bird.

"Republicans, mindlessly seeking a big win against China and tech, now that both are popular punching bags, nearly sleepwalked into passing a disastrous law," warns Revolver.

"The RESTRICT Act is a classic D.C. ploy. Savvy operators, exploiting the right's well-intentioned desire to combat China, offered them a temporary victory to lure them into a permanent long-term calamity."

Neither side of the political aisle can be trusted anymore to protect our free speech rights. Find out more at FirstAmendment.news.

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