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EARN IT Act — an attack on free expression and privacy — is back

Update: February 10, 2022 — The EARN IT Act passed out of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, paving the way for it to head to the Senate floor. Senator Ossoff entered into the record the civil society coalition letter voicing opposition the bill.

Update: February 9, 2022 — A civil society coalition letter voicing opposition to the EARN IT Act was delivered to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee leadership in advance of the Committee markup. Access Now is a signatory to the letter, signed by over 60 organizations and led by the Center for Democracy and Technology.

February 4: This week U.S. Senators Blumenthal and Graham reintroduced the EARN IT Act, legislation that would jeopardize free expression, undermine online safety, and deprive people of the benefits of strong encryption. Access Now continues to oppose the bill, slated to be considered in the Senate Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks.

The EARN IT Act threatens to deprive internet intermediaries of safe harbor protection, and expose them to liability for content posted by third-party users, unless they take certain steps to block child sexual abuse material. The looming threat of litigation and liability under the EARN IT Act will result in a decline in encrypted services, and is an attack on the privacy, security, and online safety of all people in the United States.

“Congress should be looking seriously at ways to address child sexual abuse material, but the EARN IT Act is a disaster,” said Willmary Escoto, U.S. Policy Analyst at Access Now. “This bill undermines free expression and privacy, under the guise of protecting kids. Don’t believe the hype.”  

Access Now calls on the U.S. Congress to oppose the bill, and protect people’s human rights online.