DON’T LET CONGRESS KILL FREE SPEECH ONLINE
URGENT: A new bill threatens to destroy free speech on the Internet as we know it. If passed, the EARN IT Act would give Attorney General Willliam Barr the power to demand that tech companies kill important encryption programs that keep us all safe from government censorship, cybersecurity breaches, and human rights abuses. Any tech company that fails to participate in the Attorney General's Orwellian surveillance scheme will be left vulnerable to crippling lawsuits ... and even criminal prosecution.
Sign our petition now to tell Congress: “Protect free speech online! Save encryption and reject the dangerous EARN IT Act.”
THE EARN IT ACT IS A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING
Back in December, Lindsey Graham (R–SC) delivered an ominous threat to Apple, Facebook, and any other tech company that might refuse to kill encryption programs that prevent intelligence officers, malicious hackers, and others from accessing our private communications systems: "You're going to find a way to do this or we're going to do it for you." Now Graham has partnered with Richard Blumenthal (D–CT) to make good on his threat.
The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act — or EARN IT Act, for short — shamelessly uses the sensitive topic of child exploitation as a bargaining chip in the battle for digital encryption. If passed, the EARN IT Act will force tech companies to either bow to the demands of the Attorney General, or shut down under threat of crippling lawsuits and criminal prosecution.
Privacy experts warn that the EARN IT Act is yet another a thinly-veiled attempt by government officials to kill encryption. Why is this so bad? As Senator Ron Wyden explains, "You can't only build a backdoor for the good guys ... Once you weaken encryption with a backdoor, you make it far easier for criminals and hackers and predators to get into your digital life."
And that's exactly what's happened when our government has inserted backdoors into encrypted services before: malicious hackers have gained access to communication systems, power grids, and even nuclear facilities. Even worse, when criminals and authoritarian governments know that platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are not safe for them to use, they simply turn to less regulated alternatives. For all these reasons and more, many current and former security officials support making encryption stronger, not weaker.
But DOJ officials have shrugged off these legitimate concerns, defending their dangerous intentions with a pattern of lies and untruths that ignore the risks of breaking encryption and overstate the impact that breaking encryption would actually have on criminal investigations.
Our law enforcement and intelligence agencies routinely abuse their overly-broad, unconstitutional surveillance powers to spy on journalists and racial justice advocates. Giving our government even more powers will only result in more abuses against vulnerable individuals and political dissenters.
CONTACT CONGRESS NOW
Your freedom of speech doesn't need to be earned. Your safety from unreasonable searches at the hands of an authoritarian government doesn't need to be earned. These inalienable human rights are protected by the Constitution. Don’t let Congress chip away at your rights.
Sign our petition now to tell your lawmakers : “Protect free speech online! Save encryption and reject the dangerous EARN IT Act.”
From: [Your Name]
I am deeply concerned that the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2019 — also known as the EARN IT Act — will give the Attorney General broad powers to curtail free speech online, and kill essential protections afforded to us by digital encryption.
Protect free speech online! Save encryption and reject the dangerous EARN IT Act.