Romney and bipartisan RESTRICT Act aiming for TikTok information safety

Mar 8, 2023, 9:29 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2023, 5:18 pm

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) talk...

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) talks to reporters while introducing the Restrict Act with (L-R) Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) at the U.S. Capitol on March 07, 2023 in Washington, DC. In reaction to software built in countries hostile to the United States, including China's TikTok, the new legislation would allow the Commerce Department to take action on suspected foreign spying risks in artificial intelligence, fintech, quantum computing and e-commerce. (Chip Somodevilla /Getty Images)

(Chip Somodevilla /Getty Images)

WASHINGTON D.C. — Calling it a “major piece” of foreign policy legislation, Sen. Mitt Romney R-Utah, announced the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act this week.

Romney described the RESTRICT ACT as a risk-based approach that “proactively tackles sources of potentially dangerous technology before they gain a foothold in America.”

Specifically, the Act directs the Secretary of Commerce to create ways to identify, disrupt, and prevent an adversary country from accessing information that if, in the wrong hands, poses “undue or unacceptable risk to national security.”

The Act also requires the Secretary of Commerce to pay attention to concerns raised by other government entities.

Notably, the White House helped to design the bill. And the Act gives the U.S. president “new leverage” in ongoing security talks with TikTok.

And Romney made it a point to recognize the bipartisan nature of the act.

“We’re talking about a major piece of competitive and foreign policy legislation,” Romney said of the legislation targeting TikTok and other social media.

“When we come together it says that congress has recognized that China is not our dear friend, the Chinese Communist Party that is, is not our dear friend.”

That Party, according to Romney, can force social media companies like TikTok to give them user data.

He said that China, along with Russia and Iran, is “increasingly using technology products to spy on Americans.” By doing so, Romney said adversary countries can exploit the information and use it against the United States.


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Romney and bipartisan RESTRICT Act aiming for TikTok information safety