Dems’ TikTok Ban Bill Could Criminalize VPNs

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.”

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.

This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.