Proponents of the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act (EARNIT) might tout its tough stance on online child sexual abuse material but privacy and digital rights advocates contend the bill, just passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, will erode end-to-end encryption.

EARN IT revokes Section 230 protection for internet intermediaries for what is seen as an overly broad array state and civil claims concerning child sexual abuse material.   

“The EARN IT Act sets the stage for judges across the country to apply scores of different legal standards to intermediaries’ content moderation and security practices,” Emma Llansó, director of the Center of Democracy and Technology’s Free Expression Project, said in a statement. “We know from decades of experience that threats of litigation lead website operators and other intermediaries to censor speech and shutter services. The EARN IT Act vastly amplifies those threats.” 

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