We the People Reject The Restrict Act: Americans Should Not Be the Enemies of the State
The Restrict Act, first introduced by Senator Mark Warner (D), Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on March 7th, 2023, is a piece of legislation that, in broad terms, would grant the government the power to determine who or what is a foreign adversary to our country, and what type of restrictions we may place upon them. This bill has proved to have hardly any set criteria to determine what IS a foreign adversary, and HOW and through what means the government may enact its power to restrict said, foreign adversaries. The concern then arises…
What is the criteria for determining who or what a foreign adversary is?
Who can be considered a foreign adversary? What actions would an entity have to take in order to be considered a foreign adversary?
What restriction would the government place upon these foreign adversaries?
And how does/will the government restrict our foreign adversaries without infringing or restricting the rights of its citizens?
Will the people have a say on the criteria/determination of points I. and II.?
If not, WHO will determine the criteria, and will they be elected officials?
Will the government restrict communication to and from foreign adversaries, meaning content on apps that is sourced from foreign adversaries?
If so, is this not censorship, and how does that pertain to our constitutional rights?
When introduced, the proponents of the restrict act reiterate two primary facts. First, this bill is intended to restrict our foreign adversaries, namely via their technology, including communications and social media, to better protect American citizens from having their data collected.Second, that Congress/the Government is formatting a bill that will allow them to use power to enforce these restrictions onto said foreign adversaries.
Senator Moran, when addressing the Restrict Act, fails to address the “adversarial forces” which are going to make it “difficult for America's future.” Moran goes on to say that Congress needs the tools “to review, prevent and mitigate harmful products and services from continuing into tomorrow”, he then goes on to claim that “personal data” needs to be out of the reach of communist China, and that this bill will be a part of protecting the data of American citizens from this foreign adversaries. Again, Moran fails to address or explain further what this bill proposes to protect American citizens' data. Moran fails to address how this bill proposes to stop data collection from foreign adversaries, and he ultimately fails to address or even acknowledge how restrictions placed upon “adversaries' will not, by default, place unconstitutional restrictions on American Citizens.
Senator Romney, another proponent of the restrict Act, and an individual who spoke during the introduction of this piece of legislation stated that this foreign policy bill would place restrictions on foreign adversaries, namely China and Russia, and others, to protect the data of American citizens. However, again, there is no mention of who or how one would fall into the criteria of a foreign adversary, nor is there any mention of HOW this bill proposes to solve the supposed issue of foreign adversaries collecting American data WITHOUT it restricting the American person and thereby the American rights stated in the constitution. Romney goes on to “address” many Americans' concerns over the government having greater access to their data, by stating “One thing a lot worse than having our Government infringing on our privacy is having China infringing on our privacy” whether that be through social media, other technologies, communication technologies, etc. and stopping said data spying before they “endanger us.”
Another piece of this legislation that proponents of the restrict Act have failed to explain is how exactly specific foreign adversaries are collecting and using American data. Instead, it has been empty claims and statements as to why we must protect the American people's data via restriction. Although no one is denying that American citizens' data is being collected and sold, the problem cannot just be directed at “foreign adversaries”, such as China, or Russia, or the technologies/communication lines that these countries put out. Data Brokers are located all around the United States and are known to harvest and sell American Data.
In the Restrict Act, the bill states that the Department of Commerce, a committee that is not elected by the people, would “identify information and communications technology products that a foreign adversary has any interest in, or poses an unacceptable risk to national security.”
The very first oath a congress member must take, states that you, who was put into his position by the people FOR the people, MUST uphold the constitution. It is your obligation, defined by the very document which placed you in this position of power, to exercise said power to protect the people, and their rights. Leading to the situation at hand, based on the current information provided by proponents of the restrict act, and the broad information provided in the bill itself, the Restrict Act, cannot in confidence, be passed without being a violation of the constitution, namely the first amendment (freedom of speech). Due to this fact, it is of the utmost importance that Congress members take a stand to strike down the Restrict Act as it is. The Restrict Act is undoubtedly, in its current state, a violation of our constitution, it infringes upon the rights of the American people by giving the government the power to prohibit the use of any apps, technology, or dialogue that they deem to be a foreign adversary while failing to define what is a foreign adversary.
We as a people say NO to this act, and we do not consent to this legislation.
A patrioctic Young American.
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