A Democrat-sponsored bill designed to ban TikTok may also boost the agenda of the far-left by criminalizing the use of virtual private networks, or VPNs, which allow users to surf the web anonymously, a report suggests.
Lefties Might Want to Crack Down on VPN Use
Cracking down on VPNs would be perfectly in line with the vision of Marxist-Communists, in which the internet – not unlike social media – becomes nothing short of a space to promote the far-left agenda.
It would also be used to track down and destroy anyone who dares to disagree with it. Dissenters would be far easier to identify if they cannot be anonymous.
According to commentary by Reason, the so-called RESTRICT Act, as the TikTok prohibition bill is officially known, contains murky and broad language that could lead to the criminalization of VPN use.
Author Elizabeth Brown points out the office of Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, who introduced the RESTRICT bill in March, rejected rumors that the legislation could lead VPNs to be criminalized.
At the same time, however, the “broad language” of the bill “leaves room for doubt.” Brown notes even if the draft legislation doesn’t criminalize VPNs for accessing TikTok, the bill remains “insanely far-reaching,” with the potential for numerous “deleterious effects.”
Bill S. 686 is not just a TikTok ban bill, which is absolutely fascist. Using VPN’s is made a criminal act under this bill punishable by a 250k fine and 20 years in prison! Secret orgs like the NSA will be set up to further collude with government to spy and control citizens.
— Matthew Loop (@matthewloop) March 28, 2023
Under the new Restrict Act ("ban TikTok act") VPN users face 20 years in jail and a $1mio fine if they evade US internet censorship.
Compared to this, the great firewall of china looks like a picket fence 😨 E.g. VPN are largely tolerated (used one for 7 years with no issue). https://t.co/TIYsGwib8b
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) March 28, 2023
For comparison, the sentencing guidelines for a second degree federal murder charge start at 20 years.
According to the “Ban TikTok” bill, if you access a banned app via a VPN, you could serve a comparable sentence to someone convicted of murder. https://t.co/Gm4GpNNpvW
— Natalie Smolenski (@NSmolenski) March 29, 2023
The ‘Invasive’ RESTRICT Bill
The Reason report dwells on the fact that VPNs are specifically designed to keep a person’s location and digital activities private. They can encrypt web connections, mask IP addresses, and circumvent firewalls.
Brown stresses that virtual private networks are understandably popular with people in authoritarian countries and “it’s sad” this could soon be the case for US citizens.
She argues, however, that both Republicans and theDemocrat Party are eager to ban TikTok with potentially risky consequences.
Even so, the report notes that a TikTok ban bill, which was introduced in January, by Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, posed less threat to freedom on the internet.
Hawley’s bill stipulated that the president should use his power under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to prevent all operations of ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, in the US.
Against that backdrop, however, the Democrat-sponsored RESTRICT Act, which does not even mention explicitly TikTok or ByteDance, is not only “more extensive,” but also “more invasive,” the report concludes.
so the tiktok ban is just a huge internet restriction bill?
it says using a VPN to access "banned apps" lands you a minimum imprisonment 20 years + a fine of either $250k or $1 mil. the president appoints someone to head a group that monitors anything that access the internet
— The Exiled DuckⒶ🏴🔆 (@TheExiledDuck) March 28, 2023
This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.
For anyone who is unaware of the bill they’re trying to ban TikTok with it’s not about TikTok- it’s literally giving the government access to all your communications with anyone deemed a foreign adversaries, putting 250k-1 mil dollar fines on using a vpn in many cases and pretty…
— 𝕞33𝕤𝕙𝕜𝕒🐻💫 (@_m33shka_) March 28, 2023