I see so many people online who are cheering on the bill that is being advertised as shutting down TikTok. If you are one of them, then you aren’t looking at the reality of what is happening. The bill is called the “Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act.” The name, as is usual of government sponsored laws, is misleading. Go on, read it yourself. Of course, I read it.

There is a reason why the establishment of both parties is endorsing it, and it has nothing to do with getting those kids to stop doing those annoying dances everywhere. Let’s start with who is covered by the law:

The term “covered company” means an entity that operates, directly or indirectly (including through a parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate), a website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application that—

(i) permits a user to create an account or profile to generate, share, and view text, images, videos, real-time communications, or similar content;

(ii) has more than 1,000,000 monthly active users with respect to at least 2 of the 3 months preceding the date on which a relevant determination of the President is made pursuant to paragraph (3)(B);

(iii) enables 1 or more users to generate or distribute content that can be viewed by other users of the website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application; and

(iv) enables 1 or more users to view content generated by other users of the website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application.

OK. So what can’t a covered company do?

It shall be unlawful for an entity to distribute, maintain, or update … a foreign adversary controlled application by carrying out … any of the following:

(A) Providing services to distribute, maintain, or update such foreign adversary controlled application (including any source code of such application) by means of a marketplace (including an online mobile application store) through which users within the land or maritime borders of the United States may access, maintain, or update such application.

(B) Providing internet hosting services to enable the distribution, maintenance, or updating of such foreign adversary controlled application for users within the land or maritime borders of the United States.

emphasis added

OK. So what does the law say is a prohibited foreign adversary controlled application? A application that is owned or operated by a foreign adversary. So what is a foreign adversary? It does name TikTok by name, but then goes on to say it is basically anything that the President says that it is:

a covered company that—

(i) is controlled by a foreign adversary; and

(ii) that is determined by the President to present a significant threat to the national security of the United States following the issuance of—

(I) a public notice proposing such determination; and

(II) a public report to Congress, submitted not less than 30 days before such determination, describing the specific national security concern involved and containing a classified annex and a description of what assets would need to be divested to execute a qualified divestiture.

Then the law goes on to say that if you want to challenge this law, you have to do it under the DC circuit or the DC court of appeals, and you have to do it within 165 days of it passing.

This law is squarely aimed at shutting down Twitter, or at least taking its ownership away from Elon Musk. Since Twitter (X) is the only social media platform that isn’t taking its marching orders from the FBI. We are on the cusp of seeing our media and information channels being 100% under the control of the President.


Grumpy51 · March 14, 2024 at 8:34 am

ANYTHING that has BOTH houses supporting is a red flag and NOT for the benefit of the people but, rather, for the establishment. It’s a big club, and we ain’t in it – channeling George Carlin.

Henry · March 14, 2024 at 9:01 am

Watch Rep. Massie’s speech in the House when he attempted to warn his colleagues that it was a Trojan Horse. It can and will be used against other targets in pursuit of gutting the First Amendment. “The President will be given the power to ban WEB SITES, not just Apps.
The person breaking the new law is deemed to be the U.S. (or offshore) INTERNET HOSTING SERVICE or App Store, not the “foreign adversary.””

Steve · March 14, 2024 at 9:31 am

Of course its a bad bill. The question is how far will the courts let it go. It violates the entire 1A. What part of make no law do you not understand Congress?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

PPM · March 14, 2024 at 10:28 am

A foreign adversary country is any listed in USC 4872(d)(2), which is North Korea, China, Russia, or Iran. That would rule out Elon under the language of this bill.

    Divemedic · March 14, 2024 at 10:31 am

    Depends on which definition you use:
    “Adversary country”, as defined in Executive Order 13981, means the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, or, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce, any other foreign nation, foreign area, or foreign non-government entity engaging in long-term patterns or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national or economic security of the United States.

    However, you will note that the term used isn’t “foreign adversary country,” or even “adversary country.” The term used is “foreign adversary.” Carefully noting that “country” is not in the term.

      Birdog357 · March 14, 2024 at 12:38 pm

      Elon Musk is an American Citizen. He can’t be a foreign adversary…

PPM · March 14, 2024 at 10:31 am

To revise my previous post, if a foreign adversary has a 20% stake in Twitter, that would count. Not sure who loaned Elon money, but that would be relevant.

Steve Also · March 14, 2024 at 11:13 am

The only honest bit I’ve heard from the usual suspects about it is that it has something to do with election interference. If there were a Truth in Labeling that applied to Congress, this would probably be something like the No More Hunter Laptops Bill. The whole point is to make sure that the FedGov can apply enough pressure to the principals to suppress anything they want suppressed, and not even CIA has much influence over the CCP or the PLA.

SiG · March 14, 2024 at 11:23 am

When I heard they were going to shut down Tik Tok, I assumed it was a handout to Facebook. If there’s no Tik Tok, the crowds have to go somewhere and Facebook is still the 500 pound gorilla. I understand kids don’t like it, but are the other platforms they like competitive?

Zuckerburg has contributed hundreds of millions to the dems at all levels, as well as the fraudulent vote industry, so they’re going to reward him. Your take is it’s a lot worse than that, and I honestly need to go read that.

Don W Curton · March 14, 2024 at 11:24 am

If China is truly a foreign adversary, we should do which of the following?

a) enforce strict trade embargoes
b) limit legal immigration and restrict work visas
c) use military forces to restrict transfer of fentanyl into the Americas
d) use military forces to restrict illegal entry of Chinese nationals across our southern border

Or, of course,

e) none of the above, but boy-howdy we’ll ban some websites!!! Woo-Hoo!! That’ll show ’em.

Don W Curton · March 14, 2024 at 11:27 am

That said, if they really want my vote (like it matters), then ignore tik-toc and go after those Indian spam call centers with a nuclear vengeance. I mean real nukes. Dropped on India. Specifically those bastards trying to sell me an extended warranty for my car.

    WallPhone · March 14, 2024 at 3:57 pm

    I’ve been doing some intellegence gathering of this industry lately… The initial caller is overseas to insulate from enforcement under U.S. telemarketing laws, they then make two transfers, first to another person in the same organization, a “senior supervisor” or “verification officer” who then repeats the screening and joins the call to the usually U.S.-based lead buyer company.

    The telemarketing contract stipulates that the connected customer remain on the line with the lead buyer for a period of time before the payment is made overseas. A “person has left the conference” tone plays at this time point to signal to the lead buyer that the foreign company had dropped off the line. After this point, personal medical information, Medicare card numbers, SSNs and bank account details could exchange between Joe U.S. Citizen and Legit Unethical Company paying Illegial Referral fee.

    Problem is only one party of the foreign company left the conference. They’re still recording the entire transaction.

SoCoRuss · March 14, 2024 at 12:25 pm

Hey, its OK. All those brain surgeon conservatives will love this without reading it because you cant have enough limits on free speech of people not saying what you want them to say. Now they can vote even harder for the Republican that are the barrier/protectors between us and tyranny.
Who gives a rats ass what these social media morons say or do, let them give all their life’s data to the Chinese commies, who fucking cares. They already give it all to the commies in this country, its called the US govt!!

Has anyone been listening to what the savior Trump has been saying at speeches lately? Sounds more like Hillary. Maybe he has made a BIG DEAL with the commies to back off him if he falls in line if they just wont kill him?? Just saying……

Aesop · March 15, 2024 at 6:33 pm

A Bill Of Attainder by any other name is still a Bill Of Attainder.

Musk didn’t get to multi-billionaire by not having 10,000 lawyers on speed dial to take care of grunt work like getting this injuncted, and then declared unconstitutional and moot.

The Congressweasels save face by saying “we did something, too bad, so sad”.
They tell Zuckerdork that if only he pays more grift, maybe they can help him out next term after the elections.
The courts look heroic.
The proprieties are observed.
Nothing changes.

This is classic DC Politics 101.
Everybody plays, everyone gets a trophy, no victors are declared.

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