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Never let a crisis go to waste: US lawmakers bask in coronavirus panic while quietly building the police state of their dreams

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Killing the internet… to save the children?

The ominously-named EARN IT Act (short for “Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act”) that quietly debuted in the Senate earlier this month is a carefully crafted weapon for crushing encryption without explicitly banning, industry professionals have warned. While this particular bill purports to be all about ending child sexual exploitation, the industry is concerned it will make their business model unsustainable - while doing nothing to protect children. So are independent media producers, who fear their speech would be declared anathema. It would in practice strip section 230 legal immunity – protection from liability for third party content - from any website that failed to comply with a set of “best practices” imposed on a supposedly voluntary basis by a 19-member “commission” run by Attorney General William Barr.

The government is attempting to exploit anger at tech companies to pass a law that intentionally undermines digital security (https://t.co/up4cseuDD1), and censors speech. That such a law is even being considered by Congress is a national disgrace.

Platforms that persist in encrypting messages despite Barr’s commission’s heavy-handed “recommendations” could be sued out of existence over user-generated content, which they become liable for with section 230 gone. This ingenious model keeps encryption itself legal - a crucial loophole for government agencies that rely on encrypted messaging to keep their own secrets, well, secret.

End-to-end encryption is the best way to protect privacy online. It can't co-exist with a requirement that online services scan everything. https://t.co/9K4BTdFKRb

EARN IT is a nosy government agency’s wet dream, but it does more than just make........

© RT.com