The Restrict Act: Thank You For Taking My Warning Seriously… Here’s Part 2

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Two ways the RESTRICT Act could limit your personal freedoms… This common tool could make you a criminal… Big tech is under threat… Here’s the solution…

Introduction To The Restrict Act

  1. I’ve received lots of emails from RiskHedge readers about the warning I issued this month…

If you missed this important message, go here to catch up.

In short: The US government is trying to pass a bill that would take away your right to privacy in your own home…

It’s called the RESTRICT Act. And it’s already under review in Congress.

Politicians are promoting this bill as a way to prevent China and other foreign adversaries from spying on you through apps like TikTok.

In reality, it will grant the government the right to monitor what you do in your own home at all times.

As you can imagine, this is a hot-button issue for many Americans. And readers have been asking exactly how the US government could use the RESTRICT Act to spy on everyday people. I know a couple of you even wrote to your local senators opposing the idea.

As I told you, I don’t see this bill passing anytime soon—at least, not while the US government is so divided. But that doesn’t mean the RESTRICT Act shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, all it would take is one good crisis for this bill to get passed. Politicians are masters at pouncing on opportunities to pass new laws when some new crisis scares large swaths of the population.

That’s how the PATRIOT Act was pushed through after 9/11. I could see a major cyberattack—which knocks out power for millions of Americans or targets banks—being used to justify the equally bad RESTRICT Act.

So today, I’ll dive further into this bill and share the effects it could have on us and the world’s largest tech companies. I’ll also share the solution.

Internet Censorship

  1. Your privacy isn’t the only thing under attack…

If passed, the RESTRICT Act would also allow the US government to censor the internet.

Essentially, it would let the government target businesses that use certain plug-ins, which act like mini apps working in the background of websites.

Plug-ins perform all kinds of functions—like tracking visitors, collecting emails, displaying daily weather reports, and powering video feeds. A small business website uses 20 to 30 plug-ins, on average.

The problem is that companies selling plug-ins come from all over the world… including from countries the RESTRICT Act labels foreign adversaries, like China and Russia.

So if a website used a plug-in from a “restricted” part of the world, the government could ban access to it because it could be used for espionage.

And that’s not all…

The same kind of ban would extend to hardware made by foreign adversaries.

For example, if a company used a made-in-China router, laptop, or phone to manage its website, the government could shut that website down.

Think of how much hardware and software a large corporation owns. Almost every website could be flagged as dangerous.

Jail Time For Using A VPN

  1. And don’t even think about using this workaround…

Don’t like the government deciding what you’re allowed to see?

You could use a virtual private network (VPN) to get around the censors.

A VPN makes your internet location look like it’s from somewhere else in the world. Chinese people, for example, use VPNs all the time to access US-based websites like YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, and others the Chinese government has banned.

Under the RESTRICT Act… the government can lock you in jail for 20 years for using a VPN.

Big Tech Is In Danger

  1. The RESTRICT Act could also rattle the markets…

The fates of some of the largest companies in the world depend on what happens with the RESTRICT Act.

Imagine someone posts a controversial video on YouTube, and the government decides to take the website down. It would cost YouTube’s parent company, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), hundreds of millions of dollars, even if the ban lasts just a few days.

And it’s not just YouTube that could be in trouble…

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) could publish a book the government doesn’t like. A problematic political opponent could start gaining popularity on Facebook (NASDAQ:META). Or maybe Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) streams an anti-government documentary.

All of these free-speech platforms would come under scrutiny with the RESTRICT Act in place.

And because these companies are so huge… a resourceful bureaucrat could surely find evidence of wrongdoing.

The Solution

  1. So, what’s the solution?

Again, it’s a long shot the RESTRICT Act gets passed in its current form—especially with the amount of scrutiny it’s received.

However, President Biden has already said he’ll sign the RESTRICT Act if it passes through Congress. And another two dozen elected US senators from both sides of the aisle already agree with him.

All it would take is one unifying crisis for a law like the RESTRICT Act to be pushed through legislation.

That’s why I’m already looking into companies working hard to keep the internet free and open… as it should be.

I believe the solution to this problem will come from blockchain—the game-changing technology behind crypto.

Longtime RiskHedge readers know blockchain is a completely new way of recordkeeping. It lets us securely know “who owns what” without a central authority for the first time ever. It’s also what makes cryptos censorship-resistant.

Now, what if I told you the same tech that allows you to send and receive “money” without a middleman makes it possible to send messages without Facebook… and upload a video to the internet without YouTube?

In other words, blockchain technology will soon offer censorship-resistant alternatives to big tech.

My colleague Chris Wood and I recently highlighted one particular company helping to build this decentralized version of the internet. Disruption Investor members can catch up right here if they missed this timely issue. Right now, it’s on our watchlist. But Disruption Investor members will be the first to get this recommendation when it’s officially time to pull the trigger.

If you’re not a member and would like to discover more about a subscription—including another huge investing opportunity my colleague Chris says “could bring the world’s largest companies to their knees… and devastate everyday Americans’ lives with mass shortages”—go here now.

Article by Stephen McBride – Chief Analyst, RiskHedge

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