The Wire from S2 Underground

Text Version of The Wire

//The Wire//2200Z March 13, 2024//

//ROUTINE//

//BLUF: U.S. DEPLOYS MARINES TO EMBASSY IN HAITI. HOUSE PASSES FOREIGN TECH BILL.//

—–BEGIN TEARLINE—–

-International Events-

Haiti: The situation continues to deteriorate as U.S. forces deploy to the region to secure the U.S. Embassy. Marines from SOUTHCOM’s Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST) have deployed to increase defenses around the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. American citizens in the region continue to be urged to evacuate following the continuation of violence throughout the country. AC: As Haiti has been a common destination for international aid groups and NGOs, the number of Americans in Haiti on any given day has fluctuated following the downward spiral since the 2010 earthquake. Consequently, though the situation has been tense for decades, the recent escalation of violence has caught many aid workers largely unaware, who now face the logistical challenges of transportation in a rapidly deteriorating situation.

-HomeFront-

USA: This morning the House passed H.R. 7521, a bill allegedly to restrict the influence of foreign media platforms in the United States. The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.

—–END TEARLINE—–

Analyst Comments: Gaining traction as the “TikTok ban bill”, critics have argued that the CCP influence and control of TikTok is debatable. But perhaps more indirectly, critics argue that this bill allows the United States government more leeway in restricting foreign media, and is a slippery slope on the path to potentially restricting more platforms than just TikTok. Specifically, the language of the bill allows the U.S executive branch to shut down any to shut down any “unacceptable risk to national security” that is owned by a foreign entity. However, in a classic continuation of changing definitions to suit political needs, the definition of what a “foreign adversary” is appears to not just be defined in the document itself, but also can be determined by the President of the United States, who (per the text of this bill as it stands) can designate any entity as “foreign”. Though more legal analysis is needed regarding the specific wording, this vague and confusing wording that does not rule out potentially nefarious use is likely by design.

For those thinking that a simple VPN could be used to bypass such archaic legislative actions, the wide-blanket nature of the wording directly links even ISPs themselves to foreign entities. Per page 3, line 24 of the proposed bill, internet service providers are also targeted by this legislation for allowing foreign adversary content to be hosted on websites they route traffic to. Depending on the interpretation of this text, the implications will almost certainly be vastly more wide-ranging than just affecting TikTok.

In any case, the truly bipartisan effort to pass this bill, along with the overwhelming media and special interest group support for this bill, is likely cause for concern in its own right.

Analyst: S2A1

//END REPORT//

Spiritual Preparedness Comments

I read the bill referenced in this Wire. It specifically references ByteDance and TikTok, as well as the list of nations considered adversaries in USC 10 4872. So yes, TikTok is on the chopping block if this bill passes the Senate and gets ratified by Biden. It still has a ways to go to become law.

Should a foreign nation listed as an adversary be permitted to run a social media site, replete with algorithms, in America? Seems like a bad idea to me. I’ve heard a lot of negative press and opinions about TikTok. I prefer that people stay off it, primarily because I have yet to see a genuinely good thing come of it.

S2’s comment that critics claim the bill grants the president permission to consider any entity as foreign seems unfounded when I read the bill itself.  But I’m no lawyer.

I expect this will become a “free speech” debate, with sides using the 1st Amendment as anchors for their arguments. Free speech is absolutely essential to a free people. I doubt banning TikTok will curb our first amendment rights, but I do believe we have to be very aware of every attack on free speech. I hear more and more stories of people being persecuted by the Federal Government for speaking their minds. Dinesh D’Souza’s *Police State* documentary chronicles a great deal of them.

The early church did not have the right to freely speak the gospel, and yet they did so anyway, and the salvation of Christ filled the known world at the time. They were strategic about how and when they spoke. I think we have to prepare now to do the same.

How can you speak God’s truth and salvation in your arena? And how might you have to do so should we find ourselves in danger of arrest, murder, or persecution for relaying God’s message? More importantly, when you take an honest account of yourself, what conditions might make you think twice about telling someone what Jesus says about a matter? That’s your sticking point, and probably something God wants to work on.