ACLU, AFP Comment on EARN IT Act Reintroduction

February 3, 2022 10:00 am

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NEW YORK — Today, the ACLU and Americans for Prosperity (AFP) issued a joint statement in opposition to the EARN IT Act, which was reintroduced in Congress this week.

The measure 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 a comment from Kate Oh, senior policy counsel at the ACLU:

“The EARN IT Act would be a disaster for online speech and privacy rights. This legislation poses a serious threat to the safety of millions of people — especially marginalized communities and whistleblowers, among others — who rely on strong encryption to freely express themselves and exchange ideas with each other. This includes the ability to freely express criticisms of governmental actions. Congress must again reject this dangerous bill.”

Below is a comment from James Czerniawski, Senior Policy Analyst for Tech and Innovation at AFP:

“The EARN IT Act significantly undermines encryption technology by exposing internet platforms to more liability simply for utilizing such technology. Encryption technologies have played a vital role in securing our conversations, our finances, and our internet-connected devices. Congress should respect the reasonable expectation of privacy that encryption provides to millions of Americans and soundly reject this bill.”

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