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Ever since Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass the [health care] bill, so you can find out what’s in it,” I have been skeptical about any law our politicians pass.
The fact that you had the Speaker of the House, at the time, openly admitting that she had no idea what was included in, or more importantly – what the ramifications would be for such a major law- was downright shocking, stunning and dangerous.
But time and time again we see that laws that our politicians pass end up having unintended (or intended) consequences. Whether it’s the Covid Relief Act (CARES) funds going nowhere near where they were supposed to, or the fact that we joke around with the term “pork,” – laws don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to.
Enter: The TikTok Ban Bill, also known as “The RESTRICT Act.”
(There are two TikTok ban bills however, the White House supports the RESTRICT Act, so do both Democrats and Republicans).
THE RESTRICT ACT HAS AUTHORITARIANISM WRITTEN ALL OVER IT
We all know the backstory, TikTok is owned by the Chinese-backed ByteDance company. There are concerns – some very legitimate, that China is stockpiling American’s data and grabbing all sorts of information that they can utilize later. Congressional hearings last week grilled TikTok’s CEO and it seems that they are hellbent on banning the app – and more.
(Side note: Remember when Parler was banned in the Apple store and Google Store? Why doesn’t Big Tech just do that here if TikTok is such a threat? Makes one think…)
The RESTRICT Act law would grant the White House, through the Commerce Department, the ability to go after anyone and any company that they they deem a security risk. The invoked mitigation powers are far-reaching, including the ability for the Commerce Department to ban not just social media apps, but also “gaming applications and payment applications.”
Yes, they can ban video games and video game companies.
Yes, “payment applications” means the Department of Commerce, through the Tik Tok Ban Bill, may have the power to go after [and shut down] your cryptocurrency and Bitcoin.
IT GETS WORSE…
The bill continually refers to the ability to ban “past, present, AND FUTURE [emphasis added] transactions.”
A transaction, as the Libertarian Party caucus explains, is pretty much anything. Notice how it goes from “covered entities” which is based on foreign – and the peculiar worded “non-evasion” section C of the bill which allows much more authority.
Ladies and gentlemen, you just gave up your individual sovereignty to an unelected Department of Commerce.
The RESTRICT Act is being sold to the American people as a ban on TikTok, so of course the bill has plenty of focus on “Foreign Adversaries,” and “Foreign Individuals,” because hey, they’re the bad guys.
But it’s important to connect the dots my friends.
Under the Patriot Act, a “Foreign Individual,” can also include U.S. citizens!
“…I thought this was supposed to be just about stopping China, ByteDance and TikTok though?”
THIS IS DOWNRIGHT TERRIFYING…
And do you want to know what may be even the MOST troubling?
You can’t use a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to find out what and when the unchecked power was used.
Our elected representatives just sold us all out.
I’m sorry, but any American legislation that explicitly states that you can’t use something that guarantees Freedom, i.e. the FOIA, doesn’t seem too warm and fuzzy to me.
WHY WOULD THEY GET RID OF THE FOIA?
Folks, we still can’t even get the government to release the JFK Assassination records.
Medical professionals and investigative reporters are trying to use the FOIA to find out what Pfizer, Moderna and the CDC knew about Covid-19.
FOIA is important, very important.
The entire read through and explanation of the RESTRICT Act is fascinating in the most horrific sense.
I urge you to read through it here and on this Twitter thread:
The RESTRICT Act has bipartisan support on both sides of the political aisle. Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who authored the Bill told CBS’s Face the Nation that: “We would give the secretary of commerce the tools to ban, to force a sale.”
The Biden White House supports it, saying it is “a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the security and safety of Americans.”
The restriction of rights in the name of “safety” can go down a slippery-slope very fast. We aren’t Canada, but remember what happened to the truck protesters there? The government literally paused all transactions from their personal bank accounts.
But we don’t have to go to Canada, just look at what the government did under the guise of “safety,” and “protecting the people,” over the last three years. Mandates, mandates, mandates. People losing their jobs, people losing their small businesses, people losing their freedom.
If Congress wants to “ban TikTok” then how about you… just… ban… TikTok.
Be afraid of what you wish for.