The Senate is currently considering a law that could make censorship in the United States much easier. It’s called the RESTRICT Act, and while it’s still early in the legislative process, the bill already has bipartisan support.
In its current state, the RESTRICT Act gives the feds massive power to monitor and police U.S. citizens online. It does so by allowing the Secretary of Commerce to conduct security reviews of any tech product that is even partially owned by companies from any “foreign adversary.” (Who is a foreign adversary? Any country the secretary says. Seriously.)
Here’s how this might play out later. Use a “wrong” app that isn’t liked by the current powers-that-be? Pick a program owned by a country that’s on the current Naughty List? You are now at risk for a 20-year prison term and up to one million dollars in fines. Even if you hate TikTok (and everyone that uses it) and completely trust the current administration . . . well, those change.
The government must address national security concerns without violating the First Amendment.
The bill's authors are introducing this bill because they are worried that foreign ownership of social media companies poses national security concerns. But just because something seems like a crisis doesn’t mean it is, or that we should submit to vague legislation that gives one government official tremendous discretion to limit online speech. The government must address national security concerns without violating the First Amendment. That’s why FIRE needs you — and your friends and family — to contact your senators and the committee’s chairperson and ranking member and tell them to reject or revise the RESTRICT Act.
We’ve made it easy. Just scroll down to send our crafted email, or edit it to tell them what you think in your own words. It doesn’t have to take long, and if enough of us do it, we could stop the momentum of this unconstitutional bill.