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Cybersecurity & Standards, Free Expression, Government Surveillance, Privacy & Data

Press Release: EARN IT Act Threatens Privacy Protections & Free Expression

Reintroduction of the dangerous bill hasn’t solved major flaws

(WASHINGTON)–The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is warning that the reintroduction of the EARN IT Act in the Senate threatens free expression and internet users’ ability to take advantage of the crucial protections of strong encryption. Addressing online child exploitation is essential, but this bill increases risks to the online safety of both children and adults. As CDT and numerous other civil society organizations have explained in the past, the EARN IT Act will result in online censorship disproportionately impacting marginalized communities and it will jeopardize access to encrypted services.

The newest version of the bill not only retains these core problems, but, in some cases, makes things worse. In particular, the bill would threaten encryption and the role it plays in protecting cybersecurity for everyone, and especially at-risk users. Given its significant problems and potential vast impact on internet users, CDT is especially concerned to see the EARN IT Act being rushed through the legislative process. We urge Senators to oppose the new bill.