The EARN-IT Act

Master_shake_

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
17,797
EARN IT works by revoking a type of liability called Section 230 that makes it possible for providers to operate on the Internet, by preventing the provider for being held responsible for what their customers do on a platform like Facebook. The new bill would make it financially impossible for providers like WhatsApp and Apple to operate services unless they conduct "best practices" for scanning their systems for CSAM.


Since there are no "best practices" in existence, and the techniques for doing this while preserving privacy are completely unknown, the bill creates a government-appointed committee that will tell technology providers what technology they have to use. The specific nature of the committee is byzantine and described within the bill itself. Needless to say, the makeup of the committee, which can include as few as zero data security experts, ensures that end-to-end encryption will almost certainly not be considered a best practice.


So in short: this bill is a backdoor way to allow the government to ban encryption on commercial services. And even more beautifully: it doesn't come out and actually ban the use of encryption, it just makes encryption commercially infeasible for major providers to deploy, ensuring that they'll go bankrupt if they try to disobey this committee's recommendations.


It's the kind of bill you'd come up with if you knew the thing you wanted to do was unconstitutional and highly unpopular, and you basically didn't care.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/03/the_earn-it_act.html

every time they make a law an acronym you know it's not a good idea.

break encryption or basically ban it outright for the children.
 

DoubleTap

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
2,782
If we're digging in to section 230 protections, we need to significantly narrow the ability of platforms to block, ban or otherwise discipline their users for lawful speech on these platforms.

The CDA was originally intended to promote online debate, political diversity and ensure we have a wide range of opinions and thought available on online platforms:

1584369764836.png


It was intended to keep the internet as free and open as possible while encouraging the creation of tools that allow individuals (especially parents) to block content they found objectionable.

The problem is that it includes language which basically says "you can block users for these good reasons (A, B, C) or, for just about any reason":

1584370151521.png


That's the poison pill right there - that's the law that says platforms and services have carte blanche to ban any user for any reason they find "otherwise objectionable"

You like guns? You like God? You like America? You like the Dallas Cowboys? Anime? Pepe? meat? gas powered vehicles? owning pets?

If the platform finds any of that to be "otherwise objectionable", they have a specific legal umbrella to stand under while they block you.

If we fix anything, we need to fix that.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Messages
3,895
It's always a good idea to keep an eye on Congressional records during a crisis like this because our government will always try to pull shit like this while no one is paying attention.

Here is the bill, by the way. It's currently in committee.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3398
Do you think any of the people voting on this bill are actually going to read the bill first? I don't think we pay them enough to be able to read. /sarcasm
 

travm

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
1,116
Indeed, I'd vote the [H] forum for Senate, and I'm not even a USAian.
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
6,180
Here's a couple more reports on it from the Electronic Frontier Foundation

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/graham-blumenthal-bill-attack-online-speech-and-security
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/...-not-so-secret-plan-scan-every-message-online

This is just the latest bill in a whole legacy of moneyed interests and the governments they buy attempting to craft laws for their benefit, while using a hot-button issue to misrepresent their power grab. While it used to be "communists" during the Cold War, modern hacktivists have updated referential saying post 9/11 to "Terrorists and child abusers are the backdoor passwords to the Constitution". We've seen it time and time again "What do you mean you won't vote for the PATRIOT Act? Do you want the terrorists to win?!" with the most recent garbage being the FOSTA/SESTA nonsense which also focused on removing Section 230 protections ; it did little to nothing to actually protect against sex trafficking and instead caused websites like Craigslist to have to shut down parts of their operation for fear of having to deal with the legal costs of simply having an accusation.

It is important to note that big companies like Facebook actually are often willing to give their stamp of approval to these kinds of laws. They get to appear the "good guy" and know they have the lawyers and funds to defend themselves, knowing full well that smaller potential competitors do not have that luxury and thus will self-censor, not offer certain features, and otherwise cannot afford to provide a challenge to the incumbent behemoths. This changes the landscape overall to the detriment of user privacy and data sovereignty. Criticisms that Facebook, Google etc... turn over data to governments voluntarily, refuse to implement certain kinds of encryption or other features and the like are obscured if few projects are out there showing another path for fear of litigation!
 

tangoseal

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
9,296
If we're digging in to section 230 protections, we need to significantly narrow the ability of platforms to block, ban or otherwise discipline their users for lawful speech on these platforms.

The CDA was originally intended to promote online debate, political diversity and ensure we have a wide range of opinions and thought available on online platforms:

View attachment 230509

It was intended to keep the internet as free and open as possible while encouraging the creation of tools that allow individuals (especially parents) to block content they found objectionable.

The problem is that it includes language which basically says "you can block users for these good reasons (A, B, C) or, for just about any reason":

View attachment 230511

That's the poison pill right there - that's the law that says platforms and services have carte blanche to ban any user for any reason they find "otherwise objectionable"

You like guns? You like God? You like America? You like the Dallas Cowboys? Anime? Pepe? meat? gas powered vehicles? owning pets?

If the platform finds any of that to be "otherwise objectionable", they have a specific legal umbrella to stand under while they block you.

If we fix anything, we need to fix that.

Well said!
 

lcpiper

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,611
Any of you guys remember that I have posted several times that, if Tech continues to dig their heals into the sand, and refuse to work with the government, to come up with good solutions to this encryption issue, that the government would come up with their own fix, and that we probably wouldn't like it.

Does this fit that scenario?
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
26,637
Any of you guys remember that I have posted several times that, if Tech continues to dig their heals into the sand, and refuse to work with the government, to come up with good solutions to this encryption issue, that the government would come up with their own fix, and that we probably wouldn't like it.

Does this fit that scenario?
I mean, I think the US government has given every chance they could to "Big Tech" over the past few years with countless sessions of Congressional testimony, and yet every one of the executives who went to DC continued to lie their faces off and offer empty promises that made good soundbites, but did not satisfy politicians after they provided no action. They made their beds, now they're lying in them. Unfortunately we get fucked in the ass bent over those same beds.
 

lcpiper

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,611
If we're digging in to section 230 protections, we need to significantly narrow the ability of platforms to block, ban or otherwise discipline their users for lawful speech on these platforms.

The CDA was originally intended to promote online debate, political diversity and ensure we have a wide range of opinions and thought available on online platforms:

View attachment 230509

It was intended to keep the internet as free and open as possible while encouraging the creation of tools that allow individuals (especially parents) to block content they found objectionable.

The problem is that it includes language which basically says "you can block users for these good reasons (A, B, C) or, for just about any reason":

View attachment 230511

That's the poison pill right there - that's the law that says platforms and services have carte blanche to ban any user for any reason they find "otherwise objectionable"

You like guns? You like God? You like America? You like the Dallas Cowboys? Anime? Pepe? meat? gas powered vehicles? owning pets?

If the platform finds any of that to be "otherwise objectionable", they have a specific legal umbrella to stand under while they block you.

If we fix anything, we need to fix that.


Shit, I'll just delete this right now, it's a direction I know the bosses don't want me to go. My apologies fellas.




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