Legislation would have disastrous consequences for marginalized communities
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee marked up the EARN It Act, legislation that would both endanger access to encrypted services and result in online censorship with outsized impacts on marginalized communities. While the bill is intended to crack down on child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, a range of human rights organizations, democracy groups, LGBTQ advocates, and civil liberties organizations oppose the EARN IT Act because of the threat it poses to online speech and privacy.
“As Sen. Coons pointed out in today’s markup, when Congress pursues tech policies that touch on user security, privacy, and speech, lawmakers need to act in a careful, targeted way. Unfortunately the EARN It Act is neither careful nor targeted,” said Chamber of Progress Senior Director of Federal Public Policy Koustubh “K.J.” Bagchi. “The EARN It Act sweeps up all internet platforms, big and small, and asks them to either turn a blind eye to content or enforce draconian content moderation policies. Both are bad for online communities.”
In a letter this week, Chamber of Progress and a coalition of tech organizations urged Congress to reject the EARN It Act, citing concerns about content moderation and user security. By creating a carve out from Section 230, the law that internet companies rely on to take down objectionable content, the EARN It Act could unintentionally exacerbate the issue of harmful content posted online. Additionally, the legislation is unlikely to achieve its stated goal of protecting children from CSAM, running into similar issues as SESTA-FOSTA.
Chamber of Progress (progresschamber.org) is a new 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.
Our corporate partners do not have a vote on or veto over our positions. We do not speak for individual partner companies and remain true to our stated principles even when our partners disagree.