You know it’s bad when Rand Paul has emerged as seemingly the only vocal supporter of the First Amendment in Congress, at least when the topic is Tik-Tok. But a bipartisan bill, the RESTRICT Act, intended to shut down Tik-Tok and other designated agents of unfriendly furriners scheming to pollute American’s precious bodily fluids, is such a censorship power grab that a large number of right-wing figures (and sadly only a few from the left) are screaming bloody murder about it. And their fury is well warranted. The bill, which has also been dubbed “Patriot Act 2.0” is a horror show.
The good news is that for once, vocal opposition is having an effect and the effort to push the legislation through is going pear-shaped. However, like the TARP, which elicited a firestorm of criticism, the RESTRICT Act may come back in a marginally less offensive rework. However, some other anti-Tik-Tok bills have also been put forward, so perhaps one of them will become the new China foiler.
However, the RESTRICT Act (which you can read here) is still in play, so let’s look at some of the major elements of its awfulness. It does not mention Tik-Tok. The bill instead targets “any foreign government or regime, determined…to have engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States.” The starter list consists of China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela “under the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros.” So we still haven’t given up on Guaidó.
So many US officials and adjacent mouthpieces have taken to saying crazypants things about China that it’s hard to parse posturing from policy. Nevertheless, even though the US has become openly hostile towards China, witness the CHIPS Act and continued Taiwan eye-poking, I wonder if any other bill or Executive Order has deemed China to be a national security threat to the US.
Forgive the reliance on conservative sources, but they’ve been the ones to give the Restrict Act a hard look. First from Fox:
Activists and organizations are sounding the alarm that the RESTRICT Act, touted to stop foreign spying via apps like TikTok, will instead endanger basic American freedoms.
A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and John Thune, R-S.D., unveiled the RESTRICT Act on March 7. The legislation is meant to crack down on communications technology developed by foreign adversaries, like China and Russia, because of national security risks.
The RESTRICT Act gives the executive branch the power to “[enforce] any mitigation measure to address any risk” regarding a “current, past, or potential future transaction” with what is deemed to be a foreign adversary. It would also apply to taking action “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,” including “interfering in, or altering the result or reported result of a Federal election.” The penalty for running afoul of this law could be up to “20 years” spent in prison.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the RESTRICT Act provides for civil and criminal asset forfeiture, which means the police can take your money and property based on a mere accusation, before guilt or innocence has been determined.
The bill has sloppy definitions and is unnecessarily convoluted, which speaks either to poor drafting or an intent to obfuscate. Based on a cursory look, for any entity to be targeted, it has to have over 1 million active US users in the past.
But the text of the bill proper targets “any person”:
…shall take action to identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, investigate, or otherwise mitigate, including by negotiating, entering into, or imposing, and enforcing any mitigation measure to address any risk arising from any covered transaction by any person….
A transaction appears to be just about any activity.
Notice how this section continues:
…or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that the Secretary determines—
(1) poses an undue or unacceptable risk of—
(A) sabotage or subversion of the design, integrity, manufacturing, production, distribution, installation, operation, or maintenance of information and communications technology products and services in the United States;
(B) catastrophic effects on the security or resilience of the critical infrastructure or digital economy of the United States;
(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
Did you notice (C) and (D)? (C) would include the 1/6 riot, which means similar protestors could be handled outside the judiciary. And (D) looks designed to support Russiagate 2.0 and again skip established processes like impeachment. Of course, one could argue that the Russiagate hoax fell under (C) and its purveyors were guilty of election interference (recall that Hillary allies were arguing for a change in the Constitutional order, of requiring that the military approve of any incoming President). Oddly I didn’t see any conservative sources make noise about this issue, perhaps because they found plenty of other provisions that would offend broad swathes of voters.
So what happens if you are designated a national security threat? What can they access of yours to confirm it? Everything.
Notice the preemptive attack on quantum encryption in there, too. pic.twitter.com/rXMY8v8lOI
— Mises Caucus (@LPMisesCaucus) March 26, 2023
If you recall from before, “Foreign Individuals” can now also be US citizens that are deemed a national security threat. Once designated, the bill grants authority to enforce any action deemed necessary to mitigate the threat, with no due process and few limits on punishments. pic.twitter.com/8IreN90m88
— Mises Caucus (@LPMisesCaucus) March 26, 2023
Note the Mises Caucus parsing is not correct even though the conclusion is. It isn’t “Foreign individuals” that allows US citizens to be targeted but the “any person” language cited above.
On top of that, the scope of authority is close to unlimited with no checks or transparency. Awfully obvious potential for abuse:
Believe it or not, it gets even worse: If you find you in violation, they can put you in jail for 20 years, fine you $1M, and seize your property.
They can also deem any foreign government an adversary without informing congress and everything they do is not subjected to FOIA. pic.twitter.com/3F3VTJrl5x
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 28, 2023
Reason argues that the RESTRICT Act could criminalize VPNs:
Would the RESTRICT Act—a.k.a. the TikTok ban bill—criminalize the use of VPNs? That’s the rumor floating around about the legislation, which was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mark Warner (D–Va.) earlier this month…
The language describing who the RESTRICT ACT applies to is confusing at best. The commerce secretary would be authorized to take steps to address risks posed by “any covered transaction by any person,” right? So what counts as a covered transaction? The bill states that this means “a transaction in which an entity described in subparagraph (B) has any interest.” Entities described in subparagraph B are a “foreign adversary; an entity subject to the jurisdiction of, or organized under the laws of, a foreign adversary; and an entity owned, directed, or controlled by” either of these. Foreign adversaries can be “any foreign government or regime” that the secretary deems a national security threat.
It’s a bit gobbledygooked, but this could be read to imply that “any person” using a VPN to access an app controlled by a “foreign adversary” or its alleged minions is subject to the secretary’s ire. Hence anyone using a VPN to access TikTok would be in trouble—specifically, subject to up to $1 million in fines, 20 years in prison, or both.
Warner’s office insists that ain’t so, but perhaps he could clean up the text, since as Reason continues:
It’s somewhat reassuring that at least Warner doesn’t intend the bill’s criminal provisions to apply to U.S. citizens using VPNs….because the language of the bill is so expansive, it seems hard to rule out it ever being used in this way.
We’ve seen many times the way federal laws are sold as attacks on big baddies like terrorists and drug kingpins yet wind up used to attack people engaged in much more minor activities.
Besides, the RESTRICT Act doesn’t just state that “no person may engage in any conduct prohibited by or contrary to” its provisions. It also says “no person may cause or aid, abet, counsel, command, induce, procure, permit, or approve the doing of any act prohibited by, or the omission of any act required by any regulation, order, direction, mitigation measure, prohibition, or other authorization or directive issued under, this Act,” (emphasis mine). In addition, “no person may solicit or attempt a violation” and “no person may engage in any transaction or take any other action with intent to evade the provisions of this Act.”
That language leaves even more room for the RESTRICT Act to touch a wide range of activities….
And even if the law would never be used to attack citizens for merely using VPNs, it’s a deeply worrying piece of legislation that would give the government broad authority to restrict or ban all sorts of businesses and communications tools, so long as they’re tangentially related to any country it decides is an adversary.
Even the generally toothless ACLU is making unhappy noises. Again from Fox:
American Civil Liberties Union senior counsel Jenna Leventoff offered her take on the bill as well.
“The RESTRICT Act grants the Secretary of Commerce extremely broad new powers, with little oversight,” the ACLU representative told Fox News Digital. “The bill’s language is extremely broad and vague, and an expansive read could easily encompass measures that would have devastating consequences for a wide range of technologies and apps that people regularly use today to communicate and express themselves.”
Leventoff also warned in a press release that action could be taken “to ban entire communications platforms, which would have profound implications for our constitutional right to free speech.”
And we have this confection, the odious Lindsey Graham, one of the bill’s sponsor denying he’s a supporter, and not even knowing what’s in it:
Even AOC, who has not been stepping too far from orthodoxy, cleared her throat to point out that the Administration has never taken the steps to treat Tik-Tok as a security threat, but suddenly expect Congress to accept it as such with no evidence, apparently “because Chinese” will do these days. From the New York Times:
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez appears to share some of Mr. [Jamal] Bowman’s concerns about a potentially drastic move absent any evidence of security risks. She says that members of Congress have not been briefed on any national security threat.
“Why would we be proposing a ban regarding such a significant issue without being clued in on this at all?” she asks in the video [her first on Tik-Tok]. “It just doesn’t feel right to me.”
The congresswoman also argues that rather than singling out one platform, Congress should create tougher, European-style policies to regulate how social media companies collect and manage data from their users.
Politico describes how enthusiasm for the RESTRICT Act is waning. Perhaps the most encouraging sign is no parallel bill has been introduced in the House. In addition, Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell, despite Biden Administration backing for the measure, has not yet said she supports it, and is calling instead for a data privacy legislation.
So while this measure may be on its way to a well-deserved death, it would be prudent to call or e-mail your Senators and tell them how terrible this measure is and you trust they won’t support it (or if they are a sponsor, that they need to change their mind). And stay tuned.
The hamfistedness of the Bill is probably just so a “watered down” but still sufficiently authoritarian bill can be passed later. However it’s also possible that the bill is being rushed in to formalize the current government censorship apparatus in the wake of the twitter files. Big Tech companies (Meta comes to mind) might be using the excuse of the twitter files and recent congressional hearings to slow walk or refuse censorship requests from the FBI and GEC, and both may have pushed for more government teeth to allow them to force Silicon Valley back into line. There is after all, an election cycle coming up. It will not do for the tech-bros to start getting creative.
There is always an election cycle coming up.
Makes you wonder how they get anything done.
I have been following the reporting on various leftist Tumblrs, complete with calls to call your representative and senator and explain that if they vote for this bill, you will support, donate to and knock on doors for any primary challenger they face in the next election. Most succinct explanation of the bill I’ve seen is “The Great Digital Wall of US”.
Also I find it notable that now that everybody knows that Big Brother is listening, they don’t bother hiding it anymore.
My solution to the TikTok problem? Well, for one thing, I don’t watch its videos. For another, I haven’t downloaded the app or installed it on any of my devices.
Boom. Problem solved.
Next problem, please.
First, they came for the TikTok users, but I didn’t use TikTok…
Indeed. The problem here isn’t that any given person does or doesn’t use tiktok. The same would apply to twitter, which I also don’t use, or any other social media for that matter.
However, for better or worse (and I vote for worse), the political class in this country does use twitter. And maybe they’ll use tiktok some day or some as yet undeveloped platform. Then the lazy news media reports on what they saw on twitter. Then that becomes the topic of conversation nationally. And it’s an ever more highly censored conversation if these clowns get their way.
I will never forget the first time I saw the 6 o’clock news “reporting” based on some anonymous comment from twitter. They put it right up on the teevee and everything. I was appalled at the time that they would in any way consider that actual reporting rather than just spreading rumors, but it’s only gotten worse and it isn’t going away until social media itself does, which of course is a result greatly to be hoped for.
I’ll never use Tik-Tok either, but there’s some very worrying mission creep in this legislation, like the targetting of VPNs, and that that the Feds get to decide whose/which servers count as “foreign adversaries”.
” Getting TikTok” is just the excuse. This law is designed to create an ever-shifting always-open Open Season on every digital everything that exists or might exist, and on everyone who might conceivably use any digital thing.
It is an omni-persecution Enabling Law to be used against any speech anywhere the government or its owners decide to persecute for any reason.
People seem to have forgotten that the biggest spies on private internet and other activities is the NSA. People were jailed for daring to talk about it
TikTok is not the problem – This new Patriot act on steroids is. The authoritarianism of the US state is the problem.
I read somewhere one of the pushes behind banning Tik-Tok comes from FB & Goodle/YouTube because Tik-Tok is starting to eat into their ad revenue. (Don’t know if that’s true.) Congress protecting a revenue stream of US companies isn’t new.
This bill, however, is a massive power grab. It’s not about Tik-Tok. If it was about Tik-Tok or Chinese apps the answer is simple: Don’t let US app sites offer those apps in the US. Done.
No, this bill isn’t about Tik-Tok. This bill reads like it was written by the CIA or the FBI or the NSA, aimed at Americans not foreign govts.
I see my senator is one of the sponsors. I thought he had more brains than he apparently has. Or is he too lazy to read legislation?
RESTRICT is another way to restrict free speech and limit people’s freedoms. People had better wake up to this authoritarianism. More and more, with the Patriot Act, spying by the USG on people and yuuge spending on “defense” the US has become a new East Germany.
It’s a complete end-run around the 1A. You can say anything, but if it offends then you fall into the pit with no recourse.
DC has people, top people, working 24/7 on ensuring that domestic and foreign controls get enacted. It takes several huge efforts to keep up with them to see what they are up to and to fight back. Whether TPP, TIPP, RESTRICT or some other creepy acronym, those toppers are irrepressible, almost like some kind of Terminator.
Ask your purported and alleged reps in DC why they aren’t joining Rand Paul in voicing concerns.
I just texted my sister, literally moments ago, that this bill reminded me of all the stories I had heard about the Stasi in East Germany (she was an exchange student in West Germany late 60s and lived there a year in the early 70s). And specifically this bill is exempt from FOIA requests. How stupid do these alphabet agencies and/or legislation drafters (or government stenographers?) think we are?
After 9/11 the Deep State took the Patriot Act off the shelf where it had sat for years, blew the dust off of it and then had Congress pass it without even them reading the damn thing. And one of the results of this was the Department of Homeland Security which at the moment has 240,000 employees and a budget of over $50 billion. The real intent was to use the War on Terror as the excuse to lock down any dissent in America itself. That is why Police Departments throughout the country received both military training and equipment. If you wanted to extend American Hegemony throughout the world, you have to make sure the homeland is locked down first.
So you can regard the the RESTRICT Act as the Patriotic Act 2.0 and the real purpose is to put the American homeland on a war footing while the US challenges both Russia and China in order to re-establish American Hegemony. And when a country is on a war footing like America was in WW2, you have to control ALL the information and propaganda. Not permit people to hear of what other people think. Those voices have to be silenced and they already made a start on that by silencing RT and Sputnik. One of the core principles of any democracy is to have a well-informed citizenry but that is the opposite of what an oligarchy needs. And that is what this new act wants to ensure.
Could not agree more. This act as outlined sounds sufficiently vague as to allow almost any interpretation, as was true of the 1917 Espionage Act and is true of its off-spring, hence Julian Assange languishing in prison, accused but untried, and accused by a country in which his alleged acts did not take place.
The very idea of challenging Russia and China at the same time, for which I can see no reason and to be challenging either militarily, is a puzzlement. It is long past time to stop and reconsider the stance that any challenge to US pretensions is a security threat. Are there threats to security? I am sure there are but to blanket everything which with which you do not agree and anything you might not understand as a security threat is impoverished thinking.
I’m not at all surprised to see Mark Warner, senior senator from the ‘Deep State’ of Virginia (home to the CIA, Pentagon, and most of their corporate contractors), is behind this horrendous bill.
Warner, with his role on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was most certainly one of the chief promoters of the Russia-gate hoax, and later threatened Facebook and Twitter to find more evidence of Russian interference. He, of course, votes for every increase in the Defense budget, as well as every new aid package to Ukraine. His committee assignments and seniority give him outsized authority over many critical areas:
Select Committee on Intelligence (Chairman)
Committee on Finance
– Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure
– International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs
– Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
– National Security and International Trade and Finance (Chairman)
– Securities, Insurance, and Investment
Committee on the Budget
Committee on Rules & Administration
He is every bit as dangerous, and possibly more so, than the more bombastic types like Lindsey Graham or Ted Cruz.
Warner is also the person who made me have to defend the likes of Mark Zuckerberg.
When they first asked Zuckerberg to provide evidence of Russian election interference on, he said there wasn’t any. That’s when they sent Warner over to HQ to help Zuckerberg get his mind right, and it was only then that we were regaled with the Rainbow Bernie memes that gave Trump the presidency, despite not being seen by anybody.
It’s the quiet types like Warner you really need to keep an eye on.
The SSCI is an integral part of this domestic surveillance/control system, both Ds and Rs (like Rubio and prior Burr). Thune is just the heir to McConnell and dances to his tune.
It’s official. Thought Crime is now criminalized, with harsh penalties.
We knew you were thinking that but chose to let it go.
Now you’re posting this thought to the world wide—including Russia, Iran & China—web?
Do you really want to keep escalating this thought crime into illegal speech activity?
As a gesture of good faith (we mean you no harm), we want you to know that the milk in your smart refrigerator just passed its expiration date. And people in your zip code probably shouldn’t drink local water for a while.
So long as you stay in your lane, we’ll give you water and air updates.
Think about it.
Is it typical for state officials to want this kind of power and curtailment of freedoms in this so-called American-style faux “democracy”? Or is this standard template for such bills, passed or not?
I know, power corrupts absolutely, always, but that US officials are even wanting this particular kind of power seems to an outsider like me to be quite a major tectonic shift in American government. It seems like an important signal of change.
I have a vague historical memory that John Poindexter developed some kind of Master Data System – this was really before the Web As We Know It – called the Information Awareness Office in 2002 and this freaked out people, there was huge pushback for privacy reasons, and it “died.” But it did not, really, because soon after somehow mingled in with the Patriot the current National Security State was born, and has grown to what we see today.
Consider this Tik Toc effort here to be the next generation of Poindexter’s efforts 20 years ago. Now all we will need is some Huge Event to panic us into a Patriot Act II.
Count on it.
I remember when I used to have a right to privacy…
T.I.A. Total Information Awareness. The outrage from the US public caused the Congress to back down… then. The intels started rolling it out piecemeal anyway.
Who needs a law when you can promulgate it by administrative fiat.
Just think of all the administrative fiats and rule-writes you could perch on top of this law.
Lex Friedman interviews ChatGPT boss Sam Altman. Much of the interview is about AI safety. At the moment AI safety seems to be the same as censorship. I gave up at the hour-twenty mark. Maybe they got around to the topic of the super AI converting the universe into gray goo and paper clips but they went on and on and on about how to guard against hate speech.
I only caught the first half of their weekly show but Taibbi and Kirn were making much of this and also that Siegell Tablet article suggesting that Twitter File revelations presage the end of the internet. Of course our Congress is capable of passing almost any kind of stupid law and Biden no bar either. But public acceptance is another matter. We’ve seen this with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act–very widely ignored– and while this law is far more serious in its implications the principle is the same.
Thought control is hard. And odd though it may seem to the elites vast sections of the public have no connection to Twitter or Facebook either. Taibbi’s ongoing revelations are important, but not IMO earth shattering. Many of us had long assumed such things were going on anyway. I think fears about this are overdone.
I wish you were right. The now old movie ‘Gladiator’ premises was the hero, a strong and valiant general in the ancient Roman Empire’s army, became radicalized with the Roman govt when it started pirating from its own noble citizens – the piracy from the far regions having become much reduced, but the need for captured lucre remained. The valiant general’s property became a target of the govt’s piracy. (oh, lawd, I sound like a right-wing nut job. anyway…)
A possible $1,000,000 fine for using a VPN or for transacting (emailing a friend?) in an ‘enemy country du jour, subject to change’ sure sounds like a piracy act, to me.
Let’s just say I do remember however vaguely the McCarthy years and find the latest incarnation horrendous. I remember clearly the still terror in adults decades after McCarthy lest someone make “bad person” claims against them, without proof or trial.
adding as always this quote from Milan Kundera.
“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”
― Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Oh I was around during that first Cold War and would say this is the “second time as farce” version. There was a lot more consensus against “Communism” back then than there is against Trump or the rightwing groups or even Putin and Russia. Given his background perhaps Trump just adds to the unreality of it all.
Of course it’s all too real to those dying in Ukraine but not to the American public. However I think even Biden sees that conflict as more of a ploy and I agree with those who say he will drop it when convenient. If Ukraine was going to go nuclear it would have already happened.
In fact the first Cold War was so serious that we sent tens of thousands of young Americans off to die for it and even at the end a majority of the public overall probably still supported Vietnam. Let the Pentagon try to restart the draft and we’ll see how real this remake version is.
I’m afraid “second time as farce” misses the danger to the American public by implying no harm will come to them by the current tropes.
Oh the Bidenistas and their SV allies are a disaster alright but I don’t think they are Hitler any more than Trump was although they may have a more fascistic or if you will authoritarian turn of mind. They are disastrous boobs. Just my view.
The Commerce Department is in charge of this thing because it’s really a copyright enforcement act wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
“recall that Hillary allies were arguing for a change in the Constitutional order, of requiring that the military approve of any incoming President”
That period of time is a blur, but I must have missed this. I have been searching google for a description, but am unable to find. Would someone kindly provide some reading material regarding the Clinton request for military approval of any incoming President?
It was not a request but sputtering to/in the press.
This is not the sort of thing Google would turn up any more than it does debunkings of various Russia war crime charges.
I am sure Lambert discussed this in Water Cooler, but the phrase I thought he used apparently is not the one he did use, so I am asking him.
I remember it more along the line of :
“The intel community believes on the basis of secret evidence that Trump is colluding with the Russians”
“Oh so now the intel comunity gets to disallow a president because of secret evidence? That seems, *novel*.”
No, this particularly trial balloon was before Trump was sworn in, along with HIllary’s idea of flipping electors. Wasn’t noised up that long or by many but was out there.
I seem to remember headlines suggesting D Trump was a real life ‘Manchurian candidate’.
Will do some research and post if I can find them.
These unexamined AI platforms being churned out “because we can” with little thought given to “should we” are akin to driving down a city street and randomly firing a machine gun. There is a place for robotics. I am as yet unconvinced that ChatBots are something we need now, perhaps ever.
Two quotes from Frank Herbert’s Dune: “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind. Thou shalt not disfigure the soul.” and one from the Bible: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above,…”
I do not fear the crude programs, devices, Bots, whatever they are, that exist now. I think the creators should pause and consider the consequences they can imagine and wonder what are those they cannot, for good and most particularly for ill. There is no rush. The dollars will not evaporate.
Whichever CIA and DHS propaganda experts figured out how to induce American liberals to start thinking and speaking like this deserves a big raise. Credit where due:
Greenwald. O telling the truth. (And sounding like Tony Blair. / ;)
This is the 2013 interview where Obama said the establishment wings of both parties in DC are far more alike than different. They agree on the foundational points. It’s only when an elected official wanders outside those lines is real fury unleashed:
Thank you Yves for this in depth analysis. My guess was initially that “we” need to save Zuckerberg from becoming the new MySpace. To wit, irrelevant. But this is absolutely horrifying, particularly regarding VPNs. While we’d been pleading for the Patriot Act to sunset, now there’s this goat rope. Ocasio Cortez had a great point – just stop grabbing our data. The “self regulating” Global Privacy Control set up by the BBB (so that’s got to be good, right? /s) has basically gutted CA privacy rights. I knew there was some reason for the refusal of compliance now and the cheeky instructions to “use your phone settings”, and I finally found that the new “fox guarding the henhouse” is it. Quelle surprise.
First Congress abdicated their responsibility to declare wars, now it seems they’re creating a new legal term, “foreign adversary,” to be designated not by any specific legal criteria, but solely by the opinion of appointed government officials.
What could possibly go wrong?
Look on the bright side . . .
This bill, if passed into law, could lead to a Whole New Renaissance of analog print media without any digital steps anywhere in it at all.
Yes, well, the present moves towards ‘digitizing’ the nation’s money through the Fed Digital Currency would eventually end up in eliminating paper money. That is the logical extreme here. So, apply that template to information in all of it’s myriad forms. Ray Bradbury’s book “Fahrenheit 451” comes to mind. That was written way back in 1953. The Elites are just now catching up.
Well . . . . this bill does not seem written to ban dead tree books or dead tree publishing or dead tree newspapers or dead tree magazines . . . . so long as no computers were involved anywhere in the making of said dead tree media vehicles.
So as well as bringing on a renaissance of dead tree media, it will also bring on a renaissance of strictly analog info-dispersal technology. Hot lead type, movable type, etc. So much paper will be demanded that today’s growers of junk-corn and junk-soy could switch over to growing high-fiber hemp for paper to meet that demand.
Since this bill would be aimed against the digisphere, a Ray Bradbury for our times would have to write a “Fahrenheit 451 (2.0) ” for what the authors of this bill intend to do to the info-digisphere and all who use it.
It would be harder for the same elites to pass into law a bill or bills expressly written to ban dead tree ( or dead hemp-fiber) media and hide its true intent. What would Original Textual Literalists on the Supreme Court do about Congress passing a bill to ban the use of analog ink-on-roller/ ink-on-type Presses of the same basic sort as existed during the Constitutional Convention? The Elites would have to declare a Supreme and Utter State of Total Exception. And if those Elites had not succeeded in de-gunning and de-bulleting a hundred million guns-and-ammo Americans, how do those Elites think such a law would be recieved? ( Now you know why the PMC are so set on achieving Gun Control).
And banning paper currency and metal coins? The Elites can ban the printing of any new currency and the minting of any new coins. But are they really willing to try retrieving all the legacy bills and coins from the hands and mattresses of a hundred million guns-and-ammo Americans? And will they really try to stop those guns-and-ammo Americans from spending currency and coins in the Patriot Freedom ( ” underground black”) Markets?
The “economy” would shrink all the way down to the barest little Survival Stub. But that Survival Stub would be hard to kill. If that final level of law is passed and enforcement attempted, a Watching World might find out whether the Patriot Markets or the Elite Persons were easier to hunt down and kill.
I am sitting here watching some You Tube videos ( before ” You Tube”, “videos”, and ” You Tube videos” are all banned and outlawed and erased from existence), and what do I see but the most fascinating little ad for a new kind of bike.
Its electric! Its super-modern carbon fiber! But most important, it has all kinds of digital tracking-this and tracking-that features so it can interact with your Genius Phone and show you all kinds of Neat Stuff.
Here is the link.
( Now I’m hoping that this link goes straight to the ad rather than to the Beau of the Fifth Column video which this ad immediately precedes. Because the ad itself is the interesting point here.
But in case this link does not call up this ad, this bike is called the Newurtopia. And its own commercial company link is here . . .
At just about $2,800, who would buy such a bike? Someone with more dollars than sense, obviously. This whole bike is one big tracking device. Its a Spy Bike. This is one digital technology which the Elites will never pass a law against.
This seems quite a lot of overreach just to keep YouTube from continually having its sox beaten off by TikTok. The Ds are BigTech’s special remora. When Big Tech is threatened, Ds call in the Killer Whale division. Time was, for example, whe Huawei was leaps and bounds ahead in 5G development. That’s when the world learned that their phone were equipped with, um, spyware. Messy, but it seems to work.
Banning TikTok and all the future TikToks to come may also be designed to remove human content creators from the field as much as possible to create a vacuum to be completely filled up from Wall to Berlin Wall with AI digital-content and activity pollution.
Here is an article about that side of the digital future from MIT Technology Review.
If this bill becomes law, it will be used to terrify and persecute natural person human beings off the internet as much as possible to turn it into an artificial Free Fire Zone Playground for Artificial Stupid-telligence of every kind.
On the bright side, it will lead to a rennaisance of writing and sending letters through the mail, which will be good for the Postal System.