The RESTRICT Act, initially aimed at TikTok, could impose severe penalties on VPN users in the US. Critics argue that the bill threatens online freedom and resembles China’s strict internet censorship.
In a startling turn of events, VPN (virtual private network) users in the United States may soon face dire consequences under a new bill submitted to Congress. Known as the RESTRICT Act, this legislation threatens to impose hefty fines and even jail sentences for those caught in its crosshairs.
Targeting Finance, Tech, and TikTok: Is Your VPN Next?
Initially known as the “TikTok Ban Bill,” the RESTRICT Act (Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology) has much broader implications. While VPNs are commonly used to enhance online security and access geo-restricted content, they may soon be seen as a dangerous tool if used to access banned websites like TikTok.
Scrutinizing Tech: VPNs on the Chopping Block?
The bill aims to identify technology products and services that pose “undue or unacceptable risks.” This sweeping legislation covers a wide array of tech, including web hosting, cloud services, content delivery, drones, payment and gaming apps, artificial intelligence, and e-commerce. The worst part? Violators could face fines of up to $1 million or 20 years in jail – or both!
Full Steam Ahead: TikTok Ban Leads the Charge
Lawmakers are forging ahead with the RESTRICT Act, following the interrogation of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. With an estimated 150 million U.S. users, the Chinese social media platform has drawn considerable attention. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy confirmed the bill’s progress, granting the government extensive powers to crack down on perceived threats, including VPN technology.
Censorship Concerns: Is the “Chinafication of America” Underway?
Critics argue that the RESTRICT Act resembles China’s stringent internet censorship and may give the state excessive control over the internet and its platforms. Will this so-called “Chinafication of America” become a reality? VPN users, stay alert – your online freedom could be at stake.