by Gordon G. Chang
- Congress is now considering the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats That Risk Information and Communications Technology Act, sponsored by Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John Thune (R-S.D.). The RESTRICT Act, as the proposed legislation is known, creates a framework for the secretary of commerce to review foreign-linked social media platforms and to take action if necessary.
- The legislation, intended to target TikTok, is controversial and being criticized as overbroad.
- Xi is swiftly erecting totalitarian controls inside China, which he undoubtedly will extend to America and the rest of the world if he gets the opportunity. In short, the threat to the U.S. is existential.
- The threat is also urgent because China’s ambitious ruler is making preparations for war. His regime in fact declared a “people’s war” on America, which is the Communist Party’s way of justifying a strike on the U.S.
- There are, consequently, critical factors that legitimize curbs that would otherwise infringe First Amendment protections.
- TikTok, after all, is one of Xi’s tools to take down the United States. Radio Free Asia reported in August 2020 that a People’s Liberation Army intelligence unit, working out of the now-closed Houston consulate, was using big data to identify Americans likely to participate in Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests and then created and sent them “tailor-made” videos on how to organize riots. Related reporting reveals the videos were distributed by TikTok.
- China’s app can access each keystroke of every user and even their location at any moment. “It is very much like giving them the keys to the kingdom,” said Evan Greer of Fight for the Future, a privacy group, to Fox Business.
- “Everything is seen in China,” a member of TikTok’s Trust and Safety Department said. A “Beijing-based engineer” known as “Master Admin” had “access to everything.”
- TikTok had said it never shared user data with the Chinese government and would not do so. The BuzzFeed reporting revealed this assurance and similar ones to the federal government were false.
- The Communist Party has used TikTok to, among other things, glorify drug use, push critical race theory, and amplify Russian disinformation about the war in Ukraine. The CCP does not allow the Chinese people to use the app. TikTok’s twin site in China, Douyin, promotes patriotic themes.
- China’s regime has a dagger, in the form of TikTok, pointed at the heart of the United States, and Americans have to figure out a way to make sure the Communist Party can no longer use it, First Amendment or no First Amendment. “The Constitution,” as is often said, “is not a suicide pact.”
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