ACLU, AFP Comment on EARN IT Act

March 5, 2020 12:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union and Americans for Prosperity today announced joint opposition to the EARN IT Act.

The measure, introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would lead to a “backdoor” in encrypted services, thereby jeopardizing the security of every individual. Technology experts and civil society organizations have repeatedly warned that backdoors could be exploited by bad actors and that no backdoor could guarantee only law-abiding officials have access.

Below is comment from ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Kate Ruane:

“The EARN It Act threatens the safety of activists, domestic violence victims, and millions of others who rely on strong encryption every day. Because of the safety and security encryption provides, Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation that would create an encryption backdoor. This legislation would empower an unelected commission to effectively mandate what Congress has time and again decided against, while also jeopardizing free expression on the Internet in the process. This bill is not the solution to the real and serious harms it claims to address.”

Below is comment from AFP Senior Policy Analyst Billy Easley:

“The EARN IT Act provides no guarantee that these so-called backdoors won’t be exploited by bad actors to gain access to our most personal information. Make no mistake: a backdoor for law enforcement is a front door for criminals. It is not possible to separate the two. Every American has a stake in seeing this legislation fail because we all rely on encryption to protect our conversations, our finances, and our internet-connected devices. We urge Congress to soundly reject this bill.”

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