Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Sen. Rand Paul to Block Sen. Josh Hawley’s Bill to Ban TikTok – News From

Posted by M. C. on March 30, 2023

“I hope saner minds will reflect on which is more dangerous: videos of teenagers dancing or the precedent of the US government banning speech. For me, it’s an easy answer, I will defend the Bill of Rights against all comers, even, if need be, from members of my own party,” he concluded.

by Dave DeCamp

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) plans to block a bill introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) that would ban the popular video-sharing app TikTok, The Hill reported Wednesday.

Hawley’s bill, the No TikTok on United States Devices Act, would prohibit the app from being downloaded in the US and ban commercial activity with TikTok’s parent company, the China-based ByteDance.

The legislation is much narrower than the RESTRICT Act that was introduced in the Senate and has received 21 bipartisan cosponsors. The RESTRICT Act would give the Commerce Secretary sweeping powers to crack down on any transactions between US persons and so-called “foreign adversaries” relating to information and communication technology.

Hawley was hoping to pass his legislation by unanimous consent, but Paul has broken with the rest of the GOP and came out against banning TikTok, saying it would emulate China’s internet censorship. “If you don’t like TikTok or Facebook or YouTube, don’t use them. But don’t think any interpretation of the Constitution gives you the right to ban them,” Paul wrote in an op-ed for the Courier Journal.

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