Encrypted messaging serves vital role for vulnerable communities
On Thursday, at a markup for the EARN IT Act in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democratic lawmakers from across the country raised concerns about the legislation’s impact on encrypted messaging services. Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) each used their committee remarks to urge changes to EARN IT to address encryption concerns before the legislation moves to the Senate floor.
Prior to today’s markup, a coalition of more than 130 human rights and LGBTQ groups authored a joint letter to Senate lawmakers urging them to address encryption problems in the EARN IT Act that threaten vulnerable communities. Tech industry groups, including Chamber of Progress, sent another letter to Senate lawmakers warning that the legislation would threaten the ability of companies to provide end-to-end encryption.
Remarks from Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA):
“I am sensitive to some of the concerns that human rights organizations have consistently expressed about the legislation. They’ve warned that the bill could result in the censorship of lawful speech and activity in a manner that will disproportionately burden diverse communities, particularly the LGBTQ community.” Watch Sen. Padilla’s remarks.
Remarks from Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ):
“I have a real concern in this bill about issues of cybersecurity and how we might empower the government to do things to target disadvantaged groups for more harassment and discrimination. Watch Sen. Booker’s remarks.
Remarks from Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA):
“It is important that we not unintentionally in the construction of this legislation cause there to be significant damage to the basic architecture of cybersecurity, which does rely upon encryption technology.” Watch Sen. Ossoff’s remarks.
Chamber of Progress (progresschamber.org) is a center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future. We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.
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