1. RESTRICT Act / Patriot Act 2.0 - A new threat to civil liberties in the US

RESTRICT Act / Patriot Act 2.0 – A new threat to civil liberties in the US

RESTRICT Act Could Infringe on Freedom of Speech and Privacy Rights, Warn Critics.

Critics have expressed serious concerns about the RESTRICT Act in the United States which could have potentially far-reaching implications for freedom of speech and privacy. Dubbed as “Patriot Act 2.0”, the bill aims to control online content and limit individuals from criticizing Big Government or Big Pharma. The lack of transparency and accountability, along with the possibility of criminal charges and harsh penalties against individual users, raises concerns about the bill’s impact on civil liberties. While the proposed legislation aims to address harmful content online, it is imperative to ensure that it does not infringe on the fundamental rights of citizens or curtail their ability to express their views freely.

Opposition to the RESTRICT Act centers around its potential implications on privacy and freedom of speech. Critics warn that the bill could give unelected bureaucrats unrestricted access to personal internet data and grant broad powers to the government. The government could ban wireless local networks, VPNs, and WiFi routers if they are used to communicate with foreign adversaries, which could be seen as a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment and hefty fines. The lack of clarity concerning the list of adversaries and the possibility of the government monitoring any device, raises concerns about government overreach. The legislation has also been criticized for treating speech by Americans as a sensitive export, potentially limiting access to information and freedom of speech.

Restrict Act S686

Critics have also raised concerns about the RESTRICT Act’s broad and vague language regarding privacy and freedom of expression. The bill exempts certain information services from federal law, which could lead to the removal of current restrictions, and grant unchecked power to the executive branch to determine which information technologies and technology services are allowed to enter the US. Critics warn about arbitrary definitions made by the Secretary, as terms such as “catastrophic effects,” “interfering in or altering the result of a federal election,” and “coercive or criminal activities by a foreign adversary” are not explicitly defined. The lack of due process and the ambiguity of the language in the bill raise significant concerns about potential government overreach and infringement on civil liberties.

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Anti-TikTok RESTRICT Act could actually imprison Americans for criticizing GMOs – NaturalNews.com

The US government spying on US citizens took a stranglehold after the terrorist-style demolition of 3 skyscraper buildings in New York City in September, 2001. The name of the spying apparatus was ironically called the “Patriot Act,” because it was about spying on American patriots (every American who cares about the country).

Several years later, Ed Snowden revealed PRISM, the complex spying apparatus that intertwined social media, phone calls, emails, and video conferencing so that the NSA could record, track, compile, and analyze data from any and every American at will, for political gain and blackmailing leverage against political foes.

Next comes the RESTRICT Act, properly named, as it will restrict any American from ever criticizing or questioning Big Government or Big Pharma again, or face decades in prison and complete bankruptcy.

Restrict Act Critics Call the Far-Reaching “TikTok Ban” Bill a “Patriot Act 2.0” – Truthout

Although most of its legislative language is clearly geared toward controlling corporate mergers — and giving the president a new tool that can force a foreign company to divest itself of U.S. interests — there’s no specific provision that protects individual users of banned websites or software. Instead, it would give an appointed presidential committee the power to make new rules and enforce them, with little oversight.

How could those new powers pose a threat to individual users? First, there’s a real possibility that, according to the current version, an individual user could face criminal charges for downloading or accessing banned content, such as through the use of a virtual private network. Depending on the appetite for enforcement, the penalties could include up to 20 years in prison for using a VPN to access a banned site — and, in some interpretations, up to $1,000,000 in fines.

Another threat is the lack of transparency and accountability the bill grants the appointed committee that would decide which apps to ban. The lack of judicial review and reliance on Patriot Act-like surveillance powers could open the door to unjustified targeting of individuals or groups.

President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, is stoked about the Restrict Act. In a March 7 statement, Sullivan said it would give the government new abilities to “mitigate the national security risks posed by high-risk technology businesses” in the U.S., and “would strengthen our ability to address discrete risks posed by individual transactions, and systemic risks posed by certain classes of transactions involving countries of concern in sensitive technology sectors.”

The troublesome phrase in that word salad, privacy advocates suggest, is “individual transactions.”

‘Restrict Act’ would monitor online content – The Famuan (thefamuanonline.com)

The goal of the Restrict Act is to address concerns about the proliferation of hate speech, misinformation and other harmful content online. The bill proposes that social media companies be held accountable for content posted on their platforms and be required to take a more proactive approach to moderating and removing problematic content.

One of the key provisions of the bill is the establishment of a new regulatory body, the Digital Regulatory Agency (DRA). This agency would be responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Restrict Act and ensuring that social media companies are meeting their obligations in terms of content moderation.

Under the bill, social media companies would be required to develop and implement clear policies and procedures for moderating content, and they would be held accountable for any failure to enforce those policies. This would include both automated systems and human moderators, and companies would be required to provide regular reports on their content moderation efforts.

The Restrict Act threatens freedom of speech (uwbrandingiron.com)

How we use the internet could fundamentally change for the foreseeable future, if the RESTRICT Bill, or Bill S. 686, is passed. This bill is a Trojan Horse for some of the most disturbing and shocking breaches of public privacy that the United States has ever seen.

Opposers of the bill have considered it to be an internet version of the Patriot Act, giving unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Commerce unrestricted access to all internet data residing in our personal devices.

This bill covers wireless local networks, VPNs, Wifi Routers, and gives the executive branch of our government the power to ban them if they are being used to contact “foreign adversaries” such as China, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela.

The RESTRICT Act also specifies that at any point in time, the countries listed as “foreign adversaries” could be changed. Moreover, using VPNs to bypass banned apps, such as TikTok, would be made a criminal act in which the perpetrator could face 20 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $1 million.

This would give our government the ability to monitor activity on any device in which they suspect is being used to communicate with foreign adversaries, meaning if they want to, they can monitor you whenever they want, as much as they would like, without informing you.

They would have the ability to monitor routers, video games, streaming apps, ring cameras, and anything else that uses WiFi or the internet.

Congress Moves To Broaden President’s Emergency Powers, Re-Introduce Internet Export Controls (forbes.com)

Recent months have seen the introduction of several pieces of legislation, including the RESTRICT Act, the DATA Act, and the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act, that would greatly broaden the President’s emergency authorities under federal law. The Congressmen introducing these bills—including Senators Mark Warner, Marco Rubio, and Josh Hawley, as well as Representatives Mike Gallagher, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Michael McCaul—argue that only augmenting the President’s emergency powers can protect Americans from Chinese-owned social media applications, particularly TikTok and WeChat.

But their legislation effectively treats speech by Americans as a sensitive export that must be controlled. In this way, they are re-introducing the export controls on speech which were roundly struck down by Congress and by the courts during the 1980’s and 1990’s. In contrast to their stated objectives of curtailing Chinese influence, these legislators’ bills will have a similar effect on Americans that the Chinese Communist Party’s ban of American internet platforms—Facebook, Twitter, and Google—did on the Chinese people: censor their access to information and their freedom of speech.

The Broad, Vague RESTRICT Act Is a Dangerous Substitute for Comprehensive Data Privacy Legislation | Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org)

At its core, RESTRICT would exempt certain information services from the federal statute, known as the Berman Amendments, which protects the free flow of information in and out of the United States and supports the fundamental freedom of expression and human rights concerns. RESTRICT would give more power to the executive branch and remove many of the commonsense restrictions that exist under the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA) and the aforementioned Berman Amendments.

But S. 686 also would do a lot more. EFF opposes the bill, and encourages you to reach out to your representatives to ask them not to pass it. Our reasons for opposition are primarily that this bill is being used as a cudgel to protect data from foreign adversaries, but under our current data privacy laws, there are many domestic adversaries engaged in manipulative and invasive data collection as well. Separately, handing relatively unchecked power over to the executive branch to make determinations about what sort of information technologies and technology services are allowed to enter the U.S. is dangerous. If Congress is concerned about foreign powers collecting our data, it should focus on comprehensive consumer data privacy legislation that will have a real impact, and protect our data no matter what platform it’s on—TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else that profits from our private information. That’s why EFF supports such consumer data privacy legislation. Foreign adversaries won’t be able to get our data from social media companies if the social media companies aren’t allowed to collect, retain, and sell it in the first place.

Tell your representatives to vote NO against the RESTRICT Act (S.686) (newstarget.com)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a constitutional conservative much like his father, also commented on the RESTRICT Act, warning that it is a “Trojan horse” just like the PATRIOT Act was.

“Prepare for the Patriot Act for the internet,” Paul tweeted.

In order to enforce the RESTRICT Act, the government will also pry into and spy on people’s computers and smartphones, which is another violation of the Constitution that too few media outlets are addressing in their coverage of the bill.

“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,” commented State Freedom Caucus Network communications director Greg Price.

As you might expect, the Biden regime is eager to see the RESTRICT Act passed, as it will allow for those who oppose its agenda to also be targeted. People caught criticizing the Biden regime online could be accused of threatening national security, allowing for large fines and prison time as punishment.

Amazingly, there is also very little to suggest that the RESTRICT Act would even do anything to stop actual foreign adversarial spying through apps like TikTok, which is supposed to be the purpose behind its passage.

Senate ‘RESTRICT’ Act Grants Feds Virtually UNLIMITED Power To Silence Online Speech | MRCTV

RESTRICT Act threatens your freedom. The “Secretary” can “mitigate” communications, political speech, and financial transactions if he or she arbitrarily claims such activity could cause:

“(B) catastrophic effects on the security or resilience of the critical infrastructure or digital economy of the United States…”

None of those terms is defined, and this is a claim by the bill sponsors that the Commerce Sec can make up the definitions as he or she goes, totally ad hoc, and then act in any way he or she wants – no trial, not even any accusation of a crime against another person. The “Secretary” also can unilaterally shut anyone down for what the Secretary determines is:

“(C) interfering in, or altering the result or reported result of a Federal election, as determined in coordination with the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of Treasury, and the Federal Election Commission; or

(D) coercive or criminal activities by a foreign adversary that are designed to undermine democratic processes and institutions or steer policy and regulatory decisions in favor of the strategic objectives of a foreign adversary to the detriment of the national security of the United States, as determined in coordination with the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of Treasury, and the Federal Election Commission; or

(2) otherwise poses an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the safety of United States persons.”

All of the above claims the power to shut down speech. And the next section hits crypto transactions — allowing the feds to take ANY action to “mitigate”:

“Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the relevant executive department and agency heads, shall review any transaction described in subsection (a) to—

(A) determine, not later than 180 days after the date on which the Secretary initiates such review, if such transaction poses an undue or unacceptable risk under subsection (a)(2) and qualifies as a covered transaction; and

(B) with respect to a transaction found to pose an undue or unacceptable risk and qualify as a covered transaction, determine whether—

(i) the covered transaction should be prohibited; or

(ii) any other action should be taken to mitigate the effects of the covered transaction.”

RESTRICT Act, Labeled a ‘TikTok Ban,’ Includes Jail Sentences, Huge Fines for American Citizens (breitbart.com)

As to what counts as a transaction, the bills takes an impossibly broad approach, classifying it as “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,” as well as “any other transaction, the structure of which is designed or intended to evade or circumvent the application of this Act.”

But the $250,000 fine is the least of the penalties. American citizens found to be in violation of the Act would also face a potential criminal fine of up to $1 million, as well as a jail sentence of up to 20 years.

And then there’s asset seizure: bill allows the feds to seize and access a laundry list of devices and services of American citizens.

These include hardware devices like phones and computers, access points to the internet including cable and wireless, “e-commerce technology and services, including any electronic techniques for accomplishing business transactions” (a definition sufficiently broad to include every cryptocurrency), and even “quantum computing, post-quantum cryptography,” “advanced robotics,” and “biotechnology.”

On top of all that, the bill grants the government immunity from public oversight, restricting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to the enforcement of the bill.

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