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Tucker: New Bill to Restrict TikTok Actually Gives Gov’t Power to Control Speech
“So you would be allowing the executive branch, the Biden administration, to regulate speech on the internet, and if you are somehow involved with a ‘foreign adversary’…you go to prison for 20 years…this is about introducing flat-out totalitarianism.” —Tucker Carlson on the RESTRICT Act
Many people have hailed the RESTRICT Act now in the Senate as a potential boon, since it supposedly aims to ban risky foreign transactions and apps; or, as the bill puts it, “To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to review and prohibit certain transactions between persons in the United States and foreign adversaries, and for other purposes.” The senator who introduced the bill, Mark Warner (D-VA), has endorsed targeting TikTok in particular. So far, so good—TikTok is owned by ByteDance, in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) owns a financial stake and board seat, and all Chinese companies are required to spy for the CCP, so it should be banned. The issue is that the RESTRICT App would give the federal government unprecedented power to control speech online, according to Fox’s Tucker Carlson.
When I first read about the bill, I was suspicious as soon as I read the list of co-sponsors. The reports about the bill sounded good, but look at the list: Mark Warner, Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Ray Lujan (D-NM), Mitt Romney (R-UT), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and multiple others. In other words, the biggest and most weaselly RINOS in Congress (Graham, Thune, Collins, and Romney) are all co-sponsors, and several openly pro-censorship Democrats (Blumenthal, Lujan, Hickenlooper, Kelly, and Warner) are also co-sponsors. That raises red flags.
Not to mention the fact that the “covered holdings” that can be targeted in the bill as posing “undue or unacceptable risk” could be defined as violating the act even if they’re not foreign, it seems to me (see Section 2, definitions, point B of “COVERED HOLDING”). The Secretary of Commerce decides what is and what is not a risk. Remember when Parler was shut down for supposedly helping incite insurrection?
Tucker Carlson began by pointing to the fact that TikTok’s algorithm is designed to feed porn, stupidity, and self-harm content to young people, while the Chinese version (Douyin) mostly provides science and educational content—it’s a totally different algorithm with very different videos. “China knows if you want a productive society that extends beyond, say, next week, you teach your kids about hard work, and creativity, and personal responsibility, respect for authority,” Carlson said. “But if you want to destroy a society, you funnel a ton of garbage to kids about gender ideology and twerking…TikTok is not a positive influence on American society.” Carlson cited the account Libs of TikTok, which exposes a lot of the perversion and leftist indoctrination on TikTok.
Carlson added that the CCP and TikTok are trying to accuse any critics of being racist—which, as Carlson also said, is exactly what the CCP said when it was accused of leaking Covid-19 from a lab (the CCP told its people it’s in a war phase with the US, remember, so it’s actively undermining America). Mainstream media outlets like Politico partner with or are funded by TikTok, Carlson said.
But, as Carlson then said, the very fact there’s supposedly bipartisan consensus on banning TikTok is suspicious. Why, for instance, would the Biden administration suddenly be targeting TikTok, when Biden and his family have received millions of dollars from China and Biden has pandered to China? There’s more to this than meets the eye.
The RESTRICT Act, as I said above, is a bipartisan bill with worryingly loose definitions. It supposedly targets “foreign adversaries,” election interference (see section 3 of the bill), and national security risks like TikTok. The election interference angle is automatically suspicious—after all, Big Tech helped steal the 2020 election for Joe Biden while working with the government under the pretext the censored content was “Russian disinformation” (it wasn’t). Carlson:
“But in reality. . .this bill isn’t really about banning TikTok. It’s never about what they say it is. Instead, this bill would give enormous and terrifying new powers to the federal government to punish American citizens and regulate how they communicate with one another. For example, the bill would regulate ‘certain transactions between persons in the United States and foreign adversaries.’ Now, what’s a foreign adversary and who gets to decide? Oh, well, the Secretary of Commerce and the DNI [Director of National Intelligence], not the Congress, get to decide what foreign adversaries are.”
The Biden administration deliberately applied foreign intelligence methods domestically to censor Americans online. Why shouldn’t it happen again, on an even larger scale? Not to mention, as I said above, the definitions are vague enough that they could be construed as not just applying to foreign entities. Tucker:
“And then, the transactions with foreign adversaries would include ‘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].’ Well, that’s pretty broad. Under this bill, if you engage in any of that with a so-called ‘foreign adversary,’ as determined by, in this case, the Biden administration, that would allow the Secretary of Commerce…and the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to decide whether you’re acting in the ‘interest of a foreign adversary.’ Again, that’s another term that the executive branch, the Secretary of Commerce, gets to define without the interference of Congress.”
Avril Haines, as a side note, was at Event 201 in Oct. 2019, an event which came under scrutiny after it was found to have imagined a “SARS”-like virus, and to have included a recommendation to plan for “surge” vaccine manufacture and another recommendation to control “misinformation” better. That was just before Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese lab under the control of another Event 201 attendee, then-Chinese CDC head George Gao, which led to “surge” vaccine manufacture (of deadly vaccines) and a harsh crackdown on misinformation. Haines also previously worked for the CIA. She’s untrustworthy.
“So, if the Biden administration decides that you’re doing this, then the Secretary of Commerce can then enforce ‘any mitigation measure to address any risk arising from any covered transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States [that the Secretary determines],’” Tucker said. This includes current, past, or potential future transactions. Penalties can include 20-year prison sentences for American citizens determined to have violated the Act (“be fined not more than $1,000,000, or if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.”).
As Tucker said, “So you would be allowing the executive branch, the Biden administration, to regulate speech on the internet, and if you are somehow involved with a ‘foreign adversary’…you go to prison for 20 years.” That’s scary stuff, considering what has been done to nearly a thousand Americans after Jan. 6. “So this isn’t about banning TikTok,” Tucker concluded, “this is about introducing flat-out totalitarianism into our system.”