EARN IT is a dangerous law that could be used to break encryption
by Richie Koch
Posted October 6, 2020
We recently wrote about a proposed law in the United States known as the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act (LAED Act), which would basically ban encryption by requiring companies to build a backdoor. But this is not the only effort underway in the US Congress that attempts to destroy privacy as we know it.
On July 2, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the EARN IT Act (an acronym that stands for Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020). Now that it is out of committee, EARN IT is scheduled to be debated on the Senate floor. This bill, if passed, would require social media companies to monitor all of the content shared on their platforms, including private messages, ostensibly to prevent the spread of child sexual abuse material.
But the bill is loosely worded and gives extraordinary power to individual states to create their own rules. Advocates for online freedom say the legislation is ill-fitted for its stated purpose and may instead force Internet companies to monitor all their users’ activity, even if that means breaking encryption. More…