Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have reintroduced the EARN IT Act, a invoice that may undercut Part 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The EARN IT Act is described as an incentive for social media providers to crack down on baby sexual abuse materials (or CSAM) on-line. Whereas the invoice’s textual content wasn’t instantly launched, a abstract signifies it’s just like a proposal that handed the Senate Judiciary Committee final yr. That invoice restricted the sometimes broad protections that Part 230 grants “interactive pc providers” towards being sued over user-generated content material, including particular situations for materials that runs afoul of CSAM legal guidelines.
The unique EARN IT Act’s sponsors touted endorsements from the Nationwide Heart for Lacking and Exploited Youngsters and different teams, and it took purpose at a surge of on-line baby sexual abuse content material. However the invoice was strongly condemned by the American Civil Liberties Union and plenty of advocates for on-line civil liberties, intercourse staff, and LGBT rights — who argued that it might encourage firms to desert sturdy encryption and privateness protections for customers. A few of these teams, together with Struggle For the Future, have issued statements towards the revived invoice as effectively. The invoice is scheduled to be mentioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The EARN IT Act is certainly one of a number of plans so as to add carveouts or situations to Part 230, however to this point, it’s been one of many solely payments to garner vital traction, albeit not sufficient to earn a vote on the Senate flooring. If handed, it might be part of the 2018 FOSTA-SESTA carveout, which stripped protections for content material associated to intercourse work — and has been broadly blamed for a crackdown on intercourse staff on-line, whereas reviews have solid doubt on its worth as an anti-trafficking legislation.