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Taibbi: Why the TikTok Ban is So Dangerous

re: Matt Taibbi

Something very odd is happening with regard to the TikTok ban. And as might be expected, it’s a law lacking all objective standards, the most dangerous kind of law which guarantees abuse by the regime in charge against its enemies. No party should have such power.

The political about-face is shocking. Something isn’t right, something has happened to change the calculus. Something we are not being told. Nothing to see here.

As Newsweek reported, the bill was fast-tracked after a secret “intelligence community briefing” of Congress led by the FBIDepartment of Justice, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The magazine noted that if everything goes as planned, the bill will give Biden the authority to shut down an app used by 150 million Americans just in time for the November elections.

Yes, there is a data security risk, but that is a ordinary and minor thing vs the real issue. Anyone telling you that’s the real issue is either a fool or a liar. TikTok the most powerful tool of mass social persuasion ever to exist, a true national security threat already doing damage. And controlled by our enemy, the CCP. Push the “heat” button (a real thing) and influence millions of minds. Swing elections, cut off your gonads, etc. It is no accident that anti-Israel sentiment runs 100:1 on TikTok.

Taibbi: Why the TikTok Ban is So Dangerous

2024-03-15, by Matt Taibbi

Did they tell you the part about giving the president sweeping new powers?

Last year at this time, Americans overwhelmingly supported a ban on TikTok. Polls showed a 50-22% overall margin in support of a ban and 70-14% among conservatives. But Congress couldn’t get the RESTRICT Act passed.

...Yet the House just passed the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act” by a ridiculous 352-64 margin, with an even more absurd 50-0 unanimous push from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. What gives?

As discussed on the new America This Week, passage of the TikTok ban represents a perfect storm of unpleasant political developments, putting congress back fully in line with the national security establishment on speech....

...You’ll find the real issue in the fine print. There, the “technical assistance” the drafters of the bill reportedly received from the White House shines through, Look particularly at the first highlighted portion, and sections (i) and (ii) of (3)B:

As written, any “website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application” that is “determined by the President to present a significant threat to the National Security of the United States” is covered.

...
The definition of “controlled,” meanwhile, turns out to be a word salad, applying to:

(A) a foreign person that is domiciled in, is headquartered in, has its principal place of business in, or is organized under the laws of a foreign adversary country;

(B) an entity with respect to which a foreign person or combination of foreign persons described in subparagraph (A) directly or indirectly own at least a 20 percent stake; or

(C) a person subject to the direction or control of a foreign person or entity described in subparagraph (A) or (B).

A “foreign adversary controlled application,” in other words, can be any company founded or run by someone living at the wrong foreign address, or containing a small minority ownership stake. Or it can be any company run by someone “subject to the direction” of either of those entities. Or, it’s anything the president says it is. Vague enough?

...this TikTok bill has allowed the intelligence community to re-capture the legislative branch. Just a few principled speech defenders are left now...

...

WIND: umm... every social media platform could be shutdown by Presidential edict today. They’d all fall into the tentacles of this law already. This is very dangerous. For example, since Elon Musk builds cars in China, that would make it straightforward to shut down X.com (formerly Twitter).

Companies that do not toe the line will be threatened with being shut down. We are talking “regime”, not Republic. In other words, fascism encoded into law. Well, that’s already mostly the case (six ways to Sunday to presssure companies and people to do their bidding as COVID made so obvious). So maybe this is just the coup de grace that the intelligence community has been wet-dreaming about, a sledgehammer to give things the stamp of officiality so as to more easily bamboozle the public.

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