Addressing the Fear of VPN Criminalization
Critics of the bill have stoked fears that the RESTRICT Act, if turned into law, could outlaw VPN usage. To set the record straight, a VPN is a tool that creates a secure, encrypted connection over the internet, safeguarding sensitive data from unauthorized access. The term “VPN” does not appear in the RESTRICT Act’s 55-page document.
That said, some experts in data privacy and national security warn that the law could potentially result in a TikTok ban, with any attempts to bypass this ban, such as VPN usage, rendered illegal. This stems from a clause in the bill that states anyone who willfully violates or attempts to violate any regulation or prohibition under the RESTRICT Act could be penalized with up to $1 million in fines, 20 years in prison, or both.