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EARN It Act is ostensibly a bill to prevent sexual exploitation of children online, but critics say it could end internet privacy and encryption features

[govtrackinsider.com – 4/8/20]

A potential list of legally binding but to-be-determined “best practices” for internet companies could include almost anything.

Context
If somebody uses an open online platform such as Facebook, Craigslist, or Reddit to post illegal material such as child pornography, is the platform itself legally liable? Since the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the answer has been no.

The person or user who posted the material can — and should — be found criminally guilty, but not the website itself. (Unless the actual primary activity of the website was trafficking in this illegal material, most prominently Backpage.com which was shut down by the federal government in 2018.)

The legal logic of the 1996 law was to protect First Amendment free speech rights. If websites had to face economic repercussions such as a fine for every illegal message posted on their platform, many might choose to limit the quantity or types of messages users could post instead.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline received reports of 69.1 million image or video files related to child sexual exploitation in 2019 alone.

What the bill does
The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act would change websites’ liability for sexually exploitative content for children, from the current “presumed innocent” standard to having to “earn” their protection from legal repercussions for illegal content posted on their platforms.

A 19-member commission would also be created to craft a list of “best practices” on the issue, including the Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, and four members each appointed by the top Republican and Democrat in both the House and Senate.

It was introduced in the Senate on March 5 as bill number S. 3398, by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Read the full article

 

Join the discussion

  1. Hank

    Good ☺️
    Let the SHEEPLE, as one person coined there TRUE NAME AND the MAJORITY OF THE MASSES …SHOULD GET WHAT THEY WANT AND DESERVE..
    Get ready little america for all the Helllll you Deserve !
    Dont fight for Liberty !
    Dont Defend the Poor/underdog!
    Dont have Morality !
    Dont execute Justice for all !
    Dont take a stand !
    And so forth…
    YOU WILL HAVE YOUR REWARD!

  2. Dustin

    I don’t buy it. I learned from my grandfather a long time ago that when politicians harp about children and families, grab your wallet in one hand and a magnifying glass with the other; odds are there’s something fishy in whatever law they’re proposing. Slipping something nefarious into a bill with a pretty name is nothing new – that’s been common practice in lawmaking for years. But a few things stand out in this particular effort.

    1. Legislatures at all levels cause far more problems than they ever solve (assuming they’ve ever solved one, since I can’t think of one problem “fixed” by a law that didn’t cause several others). The registry itself is the perfect example. Numerous constitutional violations that courts are only now starting to address (or run out of ways to overlook – the same thing), the destruction of lives of registrants (as well as their family members and associates), no benefit whatsoever to victims (many of whom are non-existent or consenting parties), and the millions (billions?) of dollars spent to maintain it every year. In return, ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGE TO THE RATE OF SEX CRIME COMMITTED, be it overall or among registrants.

    2. Is online exploitation really such a widespread problem? From what I can tell, all such prosecutions are the product of those annoying FBI and ICAC entrapment stings. I don’t remember ever seeing a story about someone arrested for child porn or exploitation that didn’t. Nor do I follow the reasoning of how a person who goes to ADULT sites and ADULT chat rooms are somehow CHILD predators.

    3. Again, if online child exploitation is so widespread, wouldn’t it be easier to keep children from accessing the internet? Wouldn’t parents so concerned about their children’s safety be inclined to do exactly that, regardless of whatever law? Are children seriously “traumatized” by words on a screen? Would it be so different than keeping their children out of bars (for example)?

    4. Our elected officials tend to believe we’re all just too damn stupid to take care of ourselves and our families, and consider it in our best interest to do it for us. Apparently that now includes internet privacy, so they can heroically swoop in and correct your ill-advised thinking, like determining your own best interests (that’s why you elect them) or opposing political views.

    • Tim in WI

      Dustin,
      Electronic exploitation is vast area to define. Porn proliferates like crazy. Far too many folks overlook just how many ways the electronic infrastructure can be used for bad. 5 billion worth of “unlawful” for Facebook is but 1 example. What of identity thefft, phishing, catphishing, and other financial scams only possible because of unfettered use of the machine? The Rehnquist court opened the door to that unfettered use by approving the 03Doe cases sanctioning registration without process for all! E pluribus unem for the sake of federal surveillance saints.
      Let us not pretend Ds and Re aren’t at war with it. Registration renders individual right subservient to the ” necessary ” inputs to machine that works anti-liberty in effect. These facts dismiss ” regulatory intent” as savior from bar. Neither party can be entrusted with it.

      • David

        @ Tim in WI: I didn’t see anything in that Bill about financial exploitation and scams. Are we reading the same Bill??

  3. Tim i WI

    Electronic Frontier foundation has been on the Earn it Act for some time.
    https://www.eff.org/document/earn-it-act

  4. Eric Knight

    “First, they came for the sex offenders…”

  5. Facts should matter

    “The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline received reports of 69.1 million image or video files related to child sexual exploitation in 2019 alone.”

    69 million? I seriously doubt it.

    Graham is up for reelection this year and this seems to be his shoo-in

    If passed, it will only serve to put more people in prison for CP and subsequently on the list post-release.

    • Russ

      I believe its true given that online tech companies outsource to cheap labor countries worldwide to hire 10s of thousands workers to sit at computers and look for pictures ranging from scantly cad 17 year old models to hardcore kiddy porn. Most cybertips aren’t even pornographic and the ones that are, over 95% of those tips arent even followed up on. The real travesty is these scumbag prosecutors ‘cherry pick’ these child pornography cases because they’re easy to prove and makes prosecutors and politicians look like they’re doing something about sex crimes when in fact, they’re putting people in prison for viewing pictures of other peoples crimes.

    • David

      Most likely the same one single image….. probably a grainy, black & white, 1950s family photo of little Bitsy or Bo in a bath tub…. reported over and over and over again …. 69 million times!! 🤣

    • Joe123

      Statistics have shown that majority of the images are the same repeats. How convenient that the frauds would leave out this important information. Anything to increase their agenda.

      Anytime the government uses “but the children” as a reason to infringe on rights, you know they’re really up to no good.

      How about actually focusing on preventing abuse of kids at home or by teachers? OH RIGHT. THAT’S MUCH HARDER TO DO. LET’S TREAT THE SYMPTOM AND NOT THE ROOT PROBLEM. WOW, America does have a serious issue with that mentality, when it comes to crime fighting and Healthcare. Interesting correlation there.

  6. TS

    This is bipartisan legislation with Sen Graham (R-SC), Sen Blumenthal (D-CT), and other bipartisan senators so it could bode well for re-election efforts given Sen Graham is the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman should it pass the full senate. At the same time, Sen (Col) Graham is a retired USAF JAG and knows this bill will be an end run around the due process required when it comes to the USG needing access to phone messages when terrorism threats (Graham was on the SASC) or other items are needed to be investigated when back doors are not opening. We have read about Apple being pressured to help with getting into a phone when needed. If they can get a law passed to make this easier through lack of encryption, then we might as well use the telegraph once again which was just as unsecure to comm by back in the day. This is a sad bill to be presented…

  7. Jack

    Just my gut feeling on this bill guys, I don’t think this one’s going to pass. Lindsey Graham isn’t too influential in DC.

  8. Saddles

    @ Tim in WI. Dustin has a good point and yes opinions are good. Did we all do good before the internet. Now today its abuse in many ways and means.. Some guy dancing to some jive talking computer machine making others more sexual in nature than their character. Even women and kids seem unruley today with their tight fitting jeans and as one said on here their nasty nellie attitude or is giving one the finger a tell all story to piss off one in a minute.

    Sure we all should be careful in this hi-tech world today as its all based on human suffereing if one lets it. One wouldn’t care if another is locked up in prison as long as they are not. So who is jive talking to be the next president of a Bill Gates fan club. Standing up for justice is the best thing one can do as liberty and justice is for all. Isn’t that what Janice is trying to do and so many others

    I’m sure janice would agree that freedom and true justice brings people back together again. Yes when justice is served the people rejoice.Tim I hate to say this but many times women have more brains than men. People have even gotten on Chance on here a bit. Was this contrivirus some type of detection device that tried each person and yes its a shame some died unexpectly but thats another situation. So if true justice is in a data base than were is true justice today or who is watching you or all of us today. As far as this Earn It Act who is spying on who today or who is guilty in this vain stance of true justice. What a tug of war.

    • Tim in WI

      Saddles,
      What I appreciate most about ACSOL group is their ability to serve public speech. While anonymous speech questions delta, public speech affects change. Not easy to stand against the tide of ignorant and self destructive humanity as evidenced in the sex offender and associated government registry database. COVID 19 played a role in the recent death of my Uncle Gary and he’s the one who taught me all there is to know about the machine database.
      So when I read about the Earn It Act a while back at the Electronic frontier foundation website, I understood how the need for it is underlined by “uses of it.” There may be no end to how far parties will go with it to the Nth degree .

  9. Notorious D.I.K.ennerly

    It’s clear that they’re going to keep trying to limit speech in anyway possible. Such efforts have been relentless during the last forty years. NCMEC has been a central player in this effort since Ernie Allen founded it in the 80s. Built on pure statistical fabrications, it has provided the mendacious numbers necessary to fuel the outrage necessary to sustain populist rage and legislative incursions upon freedom. This is a great lesson that you can lie forever and never be brought to account when your lies feed an appetite for a hatred and bigotry that is never challenged.

    It has been said that the lion’s share of what little child porn is available today on the Internet is created by children and adolescents, themselves. I have no way to know this for sure without taking unacceptable risks but, thinking back to my own adolescence, it certainly seems plausible. One thing is certain, there’s virtually no money in what the hysterics claim is a massively profitable business.

  10. Saddles

    Tim in WR, you guys finely figured it out and I have to appalude you all. We all have lost a lot of things in life and this contrivirus is telling the Nation and the world that their moving to fast. Freedom of speech is good but at times one doesn’t even get that in a court of law. Sure Janice has her job cut out for her as many of the other advocates but many times its like government rules. Even the President said I have ultimate authority and that didn’t quite sound right.

    Right now we all need to get the country back together, clean up prison population, many of these unjust sex offender issues and these sneaky types of ordeals. Hey nothing wrong with looking at a woman or chatting to them but when police entice with some type of a lustful type of enticement via the internet to compound the problem to get one caught up in all this we all need to say wait a minute.

    This pandemic we are all going thru is isn’t an easy thing for one to go thru so change is going to come. I believe Martain Luther king said that didn’t he. And their is nothing wrong with bringing prayer or some Christiany back in America again. Many people are locked up in jail over this sex registry in one form or another by these hot shot law enforcement measures that are so devilish that one can understand why anyone would be upset about these things or maybe we all should just take a roll of toliet paper to court so courts can wipe up their measure of mess. I hope machines are not taking over society and I don’t have a monster truch in my backyard for this earn-it-act.

    • Jax

      @Saddles Quite frankly, all that prayer and christianity and social conservatism is what’s driving all the hardcore sex offender laws down there in Dixie. So I’d rather have reason, secularism, science, facts or the European socialism of Scandinavia driving public policy. You can keep your god.

    • Worried in Wisconsin

      Please remember that not everyone in this country and not everyone on the various registries is a Christian or even religious at all.

      The issues we are dealing with here have nothing to do with whether one is a Christian, a Jew, a Moslem, a Buddhist, or a practitioner of any other religion. On no religion at all.

      And, none of us on the registry got there because of our religious affiliation or lack thereof. I know for me it’s due to actions I took in the past, as I assume it is for most. I’m not saying that the registry is effective or even legal (especially after the fact as in my case), but the conviction that got me here was all my fault.

      Now, all that said, I do find it interesting to note the proliferation of sexually-based businesses one sees advertised in parts of rural America which claim to be quite conservative and religious. Also interesting to note the number of high-profile politicians and religious leaders in recent decades that have ended up getting busted for a sexually-related crime or scandal. The louder someone pushes laws like this the more it makes me wonder what’s in their closet.

      • Saddles

        Good answer worried in Wisconsin. If we all knew whats in others closet I’m sure it would be shocking to many. So should we all wake up to reality. Should we all be cheated out of justice or bow down to someone, pay tribute or custom or even honor to those that trap others up in all this. Sure you do make a good point. Course a bit of righteousness goes a long way than great revenue without right. So is it right to set someone up. I’m sure everyone could come to somr conclusion on that one. Even morals are involved or did someone say it takes two to tango as some recall.

  11. The Vampire

    Let Fool,s Do what they think is going to solve the problem. We all know it only going too make people find a better way too get around the Fool,s

  12. The Vampire

    And like i told you all 98% of laws made by women…

  13. Saddles

    @ Jax & Vampire. Guys, it seems like everyone on here is disenchanted in a lot of this registry. I’m sure I was. Don’t we all have trials in life. I don’t know any of your alls thought process but to blame something on women is a bit morbid or are those vampire vangs in backwards in a lot of this registry. Nothing wrong with women or who begat you? Yes there are a lot of begats in the bible or how do people go about begatting.. isn’t it called sex. Lets don’t go that route in this platform of Janice’s . Nothing wrong with women to my understanding. They make mistakes just like men or are we all guilty of something. One wonders if a lot of our rights are barqued in Dixie or is the Bill of Rights still mean anything today.

    All this registry is about fair truth & justice. Yes Janice and Chance and the team are all about standing up for this justice that has came upon people in the last 25 yrs in this type of civil or social underhanded type of pulp/ porn injustice that’s effecting many men and women all over the American Nation. Isn’t standing up in court and telling it like it is a bit better than taking some unjust punishment or paying some fine, the fingerprinting and classes, or being remand over to the custody of the PO or prison system and they will tell you what you have to do, or does that sound a bit callous or unfair when you can’t even speak up at your own trial or to be given a second chance to defend oneself. And I do believe you all talked about second chances on here.

    Sure one would have to believe their are more plea bargains than their are actually people going to trial. Are those plea deals or bargain’s fair or unjust? Of course I could be wrong abot everything, but I’m sure they don’t let the American public know their mistakes. Guess Its called confidential can one speak for another. Sure speaking up is the right to be heard and it seems many of these rights are gone with the wind… or should one say…. frankly scarlett I don’t give a damn. Well I think we all should give a dam whether one uses Christiany or not but that is up to ones free will or understanding.

  14. C

    Meanwhile the DOJ will not prosecute the FBI agent who took CP home and viewed it repeatedly at home.

    My guess that the largest distributor of child porn the world has ever known, Facebook, will be exempt.

    • Schwartz

      Indeed. I am not delusional, nor an angry skeptic, nor in denial. I believe I am honest and thinking clearly and see reality as it is. With that disclaimer I submit to all who view this blog that special interest groups, feminist groups, NGO and social justice warrior types are responsible for flooding the internet with CP in the attempt to lure and tempt anyone who looks at legal adult porn sites, or searches for issues that could be considered anti female such as barely legal babes, or prostitution, or whatever. I can’t even convey the times I have been online visiting adult sites and suddenly highly questionable images appear from nowhere, absolutely fishing and hunting for someone to accidentally click on , maybe just out of curiosity or maybe by accident, but I am certain they are deliberately doing this to get men who look at porn. There is nothing illegal about young adult porn, but it places you on the radar, and I guarantee that identity less people are out there trying to snare you in some bullshit. Absolutely terrifying to think how easy it is to get hooked up on this kind of case, can’t possibly defend yourself, just bend over and kiss your ass good bye.

  15. Saddles

    Bingo Schwartz! Yes we all can get upset but it does no good. Sure I got a speeding ticket at one time but how many get speeding tickets. I use to love watching Hongan’s hero’s wth dad as he actually lived in that time frame of those Germany years, so sure Hitler wasn’t a Mr. Good Wrench. I didnt’ like a lot of programing on TV as much of it was geared to sexuality.

    Here’s another e-mail from the past 5 years I have received. Maybe this will help a lot in CA and other area’s in the USA. Sure get a bit of insight and press on for the goals one wants to achieve.

    Diane passed your email along to me to answer, as she was not sure what to tell you. I’ll do my best.

    In answer to your first question (if someone does evil to a person or gives that person an opportunity or choice to do evil, is he doing evil?), the basic answer is, yes, he is most likely doing evil. Usually, a person doesn’t tempt another to do good, so a tempter is, like Satan the Devil, goading another to commit sin.

    Your second question is similar, with the same answer. An authority who presents an opportunity for another to sin is tempting that person and creating a stumblingblock for him/her.

    I hope this has helped. Take care!
    Richard T. Ritenbaugh
    Minister, Church of the Great God

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