Representatives Garcia and Wagner introduce EARN IT Act to the House

Posted on Oct 5, 2020 by Caleb Chen

The latest anti-encryption bill is here_ EARN IT Act introduced in the House of Representatives

The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act (EARN IT Act) is now on the House of Representatives floor. The bill (full text) was submitted by Representatives Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Ann Wagner (R-MO) and while it has not passed the Senate floor yet, the EARN IT Act has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. The proposed bill would use the threat of civil litigation to force services to break encryption lest they fail to “earn” legal protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

If the EARN IT Act is passed, it would create a “National Commission on Online Child Exploitation Prevention” (NCOCEP) that will be responsible for drafting a set of rules that internet companies must follow in order to continue being eligible for protections under Section 230 of the CDA –  which is under attack from all sides including the Censor the Internet executive order.

The NCOCEP would be headed by Attorney General Bill Barr would head the NCOCEP – and he is well known proponent of encryption backdoors – which is the same thing as saying someone is a flat earther – a denier of the laws of mathematics. After all, there is no such thing as an encryption backdoor that only the government can access. Part of the EARN IT Act’s core mission is to give the government the writ to force tech companies like Facebook, Apple, etc to build backdoors into their encryption.

Riana Pfefferkorn, writing for Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, identified the bill’s mission:

 “to ban end-to-end encryption without actually banning it.”

Protect encryption: Call your House Representative today and tell them to vote “NO” on the EARN IT Act

Around the world, countries use the easily palatable-to-the-public war cries of “anti terrorism” or “protect the children” to launch thinly veiled attacks at encryption technologies and the Internet as a whole. It is time to act now to prevent the EARN IT Act from passing the House of Representatives. Use this handy page by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to find out who your elected Representative is and then contact them to tell them that they should vote “NO” on the EARN IT Act.

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