SIIA expresses concern that the EARN IT Act will curtail internet speech without protecting children

WASHINGTON, DC.— Paul Lekas, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy of SIIA, issued the following statement on the EARN IT Act (S.3538):

“SIIA and our members firmly stand behind strong measures to eradicate child online sexual abuse. We concur, however, with Senator Ron Wyden, the Center for Democracy & Technology, and numerous other civil society organizations that the EARN IT Act (S.3538), scheduled for markup this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a dangerous bill that, despite the best intentions, will not protect children and instead will erode critical protections for online free speech. Child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is already illegal and internet platforms have existing obligations to report evidence of CSAM. The EARN IT Act would impose onerous obligations on internet platforms, creating significant legal uncertainty that will lead directly to censorship and, will likely have disproportionate effects on the LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities by incentivizing platforms to ban and censor sex-related speech. The EARN IT Act also would undermine strong cybersecurity and encryption practices that are essential to a free, open, and healthy internet. We call on the Senate to reject this misguided legislation.”

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