On 7th March 2023, the Senate Republicans introduced Senate Bill 686 to Congress. It is the “Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology” Act or the Restrict Act. Although it is being termed TikTok Ban Bill 686 it goes much deeper than that.
Suggested read: Australia and Other Countries to Ban TikTok on Government-Owned Devices
This is a way for the government to want and get unlimited access to the devices and appliances used by people whenever they want to on any action they deem “threatening”.
The bill to ban TikTok is utmost terrifying along with being nonsense. The bill covers hardware like routers, modems, and home cameras along with virtual technology like VPNs. All these things shall get banned if they are manufactured by a “foreign adversary” by the country.
If the bill is passed, the lawmakers can ban any app that originates from a foreign nation if that country’s government has “engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons.”
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This bill makes the use of VPNs a criminal act if it is used to access banned apps such as TikTok. It can lead to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 at least. The federal government would also be able to monitor activity on any virtual or physical devices listed as well. Thus, the government would be able to monitor anything you do 24/7 without your consent or knowledge. The list includes almost all internet devices such as computer webcams, video games, home cameras, ring cameras, etc.
Devin Schulte, a Sonoma State student, on being asked about the bill said, “The older politicians who are trying to control and centralize the media by censoring it is outrageous… There’s so much going on in the world right now, and most of the political output is centered on trying to gain control of the youth and the youth’s opinion, but the thing is, they don’t understand the youth.”
Some are calling this bill Patriot Act 2.0. Let us know your opinion about U.S.A.’s decision to introduce TikTok Ban Bill 686.