Tucker outs a false flag bill that’s being sold as a way to ban TikTok
Senate Bill 686—the RESTRICT Act—is being promoted as a bipartisan ban on TikTok. In fact, it’s nothing of the sort. Instead, it’s a bipartisan ban by big-government Senators giving the Secretary of Commerce enormous power to punish speech with which a presidential administration disagrees.
Wired explains that the proposed RESTRICT Act comes from the office of Mark Warner (D-VA), and is meant “to take swift action against technology companies suspected of cavorting with foreign governments and spies, to effectively vanish their products from shelves and app stores when the threat they pose gets too big to ignore.” Indeed, as Wired sums up the act, it sounds like a good thing:
His new bill, the Restrict Act, would give that responsibility to the US commerce secretary, charging their office with reviewing and, under certain conditions, banning technologies flagged by US intelligence as a credible threat to US national security.
The currently listed bad governments in the bill are China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela. We can all agree that those are governments that are dangerous to America’s national security. And indeed, given that TikTok, which is currently being given the spotlight to promote passing the Act, is a tool of the Chinese government, why wouldn’t we want to yank it from commerce and the internet airwaves? But it turns out the Act doesn’t really do that. It has a different goal.
Any suspicions about the Act’s real purpose begin with that much-vaunted bipartisan support. Any conservative looking at the Republicans supporting it should immediately be suspicious about the bill:
- Sen. Thune, John [R-SD]
- Sen. Fischer, Deb [R-NE]
- Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS]
- Sen. Sullivan, Dan [R-AK]
- Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME]
- Sen. Romney, Mitt [R-UT]
- Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV]
- Sen. Cramer, Kevin [R-ND]
- Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA]
- Sen. Tillis, Thomas [R-NC]
- Sen. Graham, Lindsey [R-SC]
Most, although not all, of those Republicans are people who surprisingly often seem to find common cause with Democrats rather than with their own party. My rule is that, if Mitt Romney, Tom Tillis, Susan Collins, and Lindsey Graham are for something, I’d be smart to check it out very, very carefully.
In this case, what people aren’t paying attention to in the bill is that, if someone posts something with which the administration disagrees, and that post can be tied in any way to technology connected in any way to the governments named in the bill, that person will find himself in the RESTRICT Act’s crosshairs:
The Restrict Act, has very little to do with TikTok and everything to do with the United States government controlling online content. If you read the bill what you quickly discover is that congress is giving the Commerce Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence the power to shut down internet content they view as against their interests.
In very specific terms a lot of U.S. websites would be impacted. Why? Because a lot of websites use third-party ‘plug-ins’ or ‘widgets’ or software created in foreign countries to support the content on their site. The “Restrict Act” gives the DNI the ability to tell a website using any “foreign content” or software; that might be engaged in platform communication the U.S Government views as against their interests; to shut down or face a criminal charge. In very direct terms, the passage of SB686 would give the Dept of Commerce, DNI and DHS the ability to shut down what you are reading right now. This is a big deal.
The civil penalties are maxed out at “$250,000 or an amount that is twice the value of the transaction that is the basis of the violation with respect to which the penalty is imposed, whichever is greater,” along with civil forfeiture of any property allegedly used in the unlawful communication. If the Secretary of Commerce is in a very bad mood and has the Attorney General bring criminal charges against you, you can also find yourself sentenced to fines maxing out at $1,000,000, if a corporation, or, if you’re an individual, up to 20 years in prison.
To understand how dangerous the bill is to free speech, the Russian Federation’s presence on the list of “foreign adversaries” raises the risk that a website that criticizes the war in Ukraine and includes a TikTok link in support could end up with the Secretary of Commerce on the doorstep to censor the website and send the site owner to prison.
Tucker’s video is fascinating because he acknowledges how vile TikTok is even as he points out just how dangerous the bill is. Kicking TikTok out of America would be great. Using it as a honeypot to entrap Americans for disagreeing with the administration would be wrong and dangerous: