i2Coalition Statement On Introduction of EARN IT Legislation
Washington DC; March 5th, 2020 – Today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced the “Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020” or the “EARN IT Act of 2020”.
i2Coalition Executive Director Christian Dawson issued the following statement:
“The i2Coalition is the voice for the Internet’s infrastructure. Our member companies build and operate the critical infrastructure that makes the Internet function and include web hosting companies, data centers, domain registrars and registries, and cloud infrastructure providers. We are deeply concerned about the limitations that the EARN IT Act will place on our ability to continue to fight for a stronger, safer, and more resilient Internet.
We share concerns about the impact of harmful online content on the nation’s most vulnerable people, including our children. Our members work hard every day to address harmful content and routinely engage with law enforcement to assist and respond to valid requests for information pertaining to criminal activity online. The EARN IT Act will not help to deter or prevent any of this criminal activity.
The bill’s potential to curtail our companies’ use of the strongest encryption tools available raises particularly serious concern. As infrastructure providers, we stand at the heart of the digital economy and maximizing its safety depends on our ability to keep our technologies secure. Strong encryption unencumbered by backdoors is critical for not only national security and personal security of individuals, including children, but a continued competitive digital economy.
Further erosion of the Communications Decency Act’s Section 230 protections that our industry relies upon will have damaging unintended consequences. Section 230 affirmatively facilitates positive partnerships among websites, service providers, advocacy groups, and law enforcement in combating child exploitation online. Its legal protections allow infrastructure providers to share signs of abuse, invest in new preventative technologies, and moderate content. Without Section 230, this level of cooperation will likely not be able to continue, and would force criminals further underground.
We ask Congress to recognize the flaws in the EARN IT Act of 2020, and to work with us as we continue to build more effective ways of combating child endangerment online. As an industry we seek to continue to partner cooperatively with law enforcement, safety professionals, and organizations including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to end child endangerment online.”
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About The i2Coalition
The i2Coalition is the voice of those businesses who build the Internet. We represent cloud providers, data centers, domain registrars, registries, web hosts, payment processors, software developers and other foundational Internet enterprises. Along with partner organizations, we help keep the Internet an engine for economic growth and freedom.
i2Coalition Media Contact: [email protected] // (202) 524-3183