(WIVB) — A proposed piece of federal legislation could change the way we use social media.

The Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology, better known as the RESTRICT Act, is a bipartisan bill which lawmakers say will protect the U.S. from foreign adversaries.

“The world has changed. We didn’t have the internet, and we didn’t have all this technology we have now, so we do have to have some kind of control over it to make sure we are protecting ourselves,” said retired FBI Agent Bernie Tolbert.

As technology evolves, some representatives say they want our laws to evolve as well. The RESTRICT Act would give the Dept. of Commerce the power to regulate technology deemed to be a threat to national security created by six countries deemed to be foreign adversaries, including Russia, North Korea and China.

“Maybe your average American is used to data being collected on them and, again, they’re desensitized and don’t really care about it,” said retired FBI Agent and GlobalSecurityIQ founder Holly Hubert. “In totality, all of that data when it’s in the hands of, perhaps the Chinese government – which is our number one threat, it’s our number one foreign adversary in terms of spying against us – it can be dangerous and risky.”

Despite not citing TikTok by name, many are calling this the “TikTok Ban Bill” because lawmakers continue to raise concerns over the data the Chinese-owned app collects.

The U.S. Senators who drafted this bill say it gives the Secretary of Commerce the tools to “mitigate, divest, up to and including banning” technology that would harm the U.S., however does not explicitly say how a ban would take effect or be enforced.

Critics are concerned this gives too much power to the executive branch.

“Other countries, other nations will gravitate towards ‘look, privacy is secondary, you know, the state or the government, that’s our primary concern,'” said University at Buffalo School of Management professor Kevin Cleary. “I think we’re trying to strike that balance in the U.S., and it’s really difficult, right? Because this technology is extremely nuanced; it’s spread throughout the world, and so we are truly trying our best here I think, as the United States, to strike that balance. But it puts us one step closer in terms of saying ‘our rights to privacy are a bit more subservient to the greater national interest in terms of national security.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is among the sponsors of this legislation. In a statement, she said the RESTRICT Act will empower the Secretary of Commerce to “carefully evaluate these products, and ensure that they do not endanger our critical infrastructure or undermine our democratic processes.”

Marlee Tuskes is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.