The RESTRICT Act, introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tom Thune (R-SD), is aimed at blocking or disrupting transactions and financial holdings linked to foreign adversaries that pose a risk to national security, however the language of the bill could be used to give the US government enormous power to punish free speech.
Warner, a longtime opponent of free speech who, as Michael Krieger pointed out in 2018 (and confirmed in the Twitter Files) pushed for the ‘weaponization’ of big tech, crafted the RESTRICT act 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,” according to Wired.
Bad actors listed in the bill are; China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela.
In reality, the RESTRICT Act has very little to do with TikTok and everything to do with controlling online content.
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 Last Refuge
The RESTRICT Act can also be used to punish people using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) if they’re used to access banned websites, and directs the Secretary of Commerce to “identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, investigate, or otherwise mitigate” that which is deemed a national security risk associated with technology linked to the above countries.
Penalties include fines of up to $1 million or 20 years in prison, or both.
So what happens if you are designated a national security threat? What can they access of yours to confirm it? Everything.
Notice the preemptive attack on quantum encryption in there, too. pic.twitter.com/rXMY8v8lOI
— Mises Caucus (@LPMisesCaucus) March 26, 2023
More via Reason:
The language describing who the RESTRICT ACT applies to is confusing at best. The commerce secretary would be authorized to take steps to address risks posed by “any covered transaction by any person,” right? So what counts as a covered transaction? The bill states that this means “a transaction in which an entity described in subparagraph (B) has any interest.” Entities described in subparagraph B are a “foreign adversary; an entity subject to the jurisdiction of, or organized under the laws of, a foreign adversary; and an entity owned, directed, or controlled by” either of these. Foreign adversaries can be “any foreign government or regime” that the secretary deems a national security threat.
It’s a bit gobbledygooked, but this could be read to imply that “any person” using a VPN to access an app controlled by a “foreign adversary” or its alleged minions is subject to the secretary’s ire. Hence anyone using a VPN to access TikTok would be in trouble—specifically, subject to up to $1 million in fines, 20 years in prison, or both.
According to Warner’s office, however, the provisions only apply when someone is “engaged in ‘sabotage or subversion’ of communications technology in the U.S., causing ‘catastrophic effects’ on U.S. critical infrastructure, or ‘interfering in, or altering the result’ of a federal election in order for criminal penalties to apply,” and would target “companies like Kaspersky, Huawei and TikTok … not individual users.”
Except that the bill specifically says; “no person may cause or aid, abet, counsel, command, induce, procure, permit, or approve the doing ofany act prohibited by, or the omission of any act required by any regulation, order, direction, mitigation measure, prohibition, or other authorization or directive issued under, this Act.”
So that was bullshit.
Tucker Carlson had a great recent segment on this featuring Glenn Greenwald.
Here are the Republicans supporting the RESTRICT Act.
- 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]
And that’s really all you need to know…
I distinctly remember the occasion where during the mid seventies, I entered the U of Chicago campus book store and walked out with a few of Hannah Arendt’s books..From that time onward she greatly influenced me…RIP Hannah.
The rise of European fascism and totalitarianism explained by Arendt has over time been modified and adopted into today’s world.
The Neocons and their Malthusian buddies began to resurface during the Ford administration. Since then the German Nazi remnant that exported itself, following the end of WWII, to the USA e.g., rocket and nuclear scientists and somehow Nazi philosophy seeped into the CIA Dulles brothers. A new social model was conjured up not necessarily based on racial superiority. Using race alone became all too difficult in a militant and college educated community. Infusing a sense of belonging or “sense of place” also too difficult for an evolving and increasingly atomized western society….rather than Neo-nazifing sporting groups, hobby clubs, social gatherings, various uniformed civil militias et cetera, the NeoCons chose to sanction people and countries whenever and wherever it suited them, instituted militarization of every damn thing; local police uniforms, John Doe tactical dress giving the appearance that the wearer is ready for combat, the endless acts of public violence especially gun violence has penetrated into most TV and cable programming-of course with the help of Hollywood moguls. They are not pressed into doing so but are part of this military Neocon element and has links to the Mossad-Five Eyes Intel agency networks. It is interesting to note that even ideological propaganda (non-visual) is more difficult to impose or make subliminal suggestions into those who are more educated. In light of this, a system of terror is necessary. To repeat, social life became totally atomized, just like prewar Germany therefor a wicked twist on legal promulgation created terror tactics and totalitarian rule looming limitless over American society. Examples; concepts like thought crime, illegal entrapment schemes, ditto wiretapping and property confiscation without a court review and warrant. These actions made citizens refrain from open expression due to what was then Nazi techniques and now has reappeared in Neocon ideological politics. This perversion of jurisprudence managed to suffocate any critical thinking. Such imposed realities were made possible in pre-WWII Nazi Germany. The Nazi torchlight spectacles ushered in a willingness to kill or wound, arrest, incarcerate, vilify, isolate and spy on, for the sake of an ideology. All the newsprint in prewar Germany became uniform in content and they shared a hysterical tone launched against England, France and Poland. DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU? People speaking less freely, in particularly on the subject of ideology occurred in pre-Nazi Germany and have recently reappeared by way of a cooperative effort between Atlanticists, Bilderberg Group and the American Neocons.
Today, China’s CCP created then enforced a social credit system that mirrors these same Nazi propaganda tactics. The USA has adopted a version of it through the liquidation of our first and fourth Amendments followed by a congressional panic thus creating Uber-justice statutory laws like the Patriot Act. This insanity followed 911. A good historical flashback and perspective would be the Reichstag German parliament fire in 1933, painted as a foreign terror act requiring a quick military response…
These extraordinary actions consisting of domestic terror tactics e.g., scientifically and psychologically pre-programmed individuals who perform spontaneous acts of individual and mass violence such as the RFK assassination, MK-ULTRA mind control experiments, 911-the inside job, Oklahoma city bombing, could be summed up with a well worn out phrase; the ends justify the means. Both Stalin and Hitler thought in this way. Government sponsored terror holds the population in place not consciously but subconsciously. Your political and religious beliefs are eventually blended, where the public and private self becomes one in the same.
Now to my point, it is obvious why the Patriot and NDA Acts have not been revoked. They are viewed as important “laws” feeding unease and terror across our society. In order to strengthen and continue this process the Restrict Act suddenly appears. Can anyone write to a newspaper editor without having second thoughts? your name might be passed on to the CIA. Why? because the CIA has taken over the newspaper syndicates and mag rackets. Their moles with almost bottomless reserves of free money have penetrated into most news media outlets (excluding BRICS and SCO) but continues to make their influences known in TV/Cable networks in the West. Are your friends are uncomfortable talking politics these days? Neighbors informing on neighbors has returned, child informants as well. What is the purpose you may ask? TERROR with a good deal of finger pointing, accusations of “unsocial behavior” COVID coughing in public? no inoculation? mask not properly fitted? round them all up, snitch on the person living in your apartment complex or home. Sippenhaft! moreover the CIA has joined hands with DIA. They have a much larger agency and budget and to be sure…
Appointed leaders (like Hitler) not necessarily elected by a voting public e.g., POTUS Bush and the Supreme court “dangling Chads” decision, Biden tied to bizarre voting irregularities which have yet to be fully resolved by I might add, a blatantly corrupted court system will continue to sign off on everything the Pentagon Brass, legislators and corporate CEO’s tells them to do- meanwhile avoiding any personal responsibility as president. Sometimes I feel that JFK was the last genuine person in the Oval Office. All who followed him were nothing more than mannequins or sock puppets who happened to have a human voice.
Please wake up western Occident! please wake up America! lest the heroic efforts by those at rest in endless rows at Arlington cemetery be in VAIN!