We are happy to see that the EARN IT Act (Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technology) was reintroduced in the Senate on January 31, 2022, by Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Lindsay Graham, along with a host of Democratic and Republican legislators.

READ National Center of Missing and Exploited Children’s Statement in Support of the EARN IT Act

It is time to show your support in keeping kids safer online through passing the EARN IT Act, which will hold tech companies accountable for allowing child sexual abuse material to be uploaded rampantly on their platforms.

Let’s talk to about what the EARN IT Act will do if it is passed.

The bill will be up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. It is imperative that you contact North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis’s office if you live in North Carolina and encourage him to vote in favor of the EARN IT Act.

We need your voice to encourage our North Carolina senator to vote to protect children online. You can also sign the Shared Hope International petition that will send a message to the legislator who represents you. 

What the EARN IT Act does: 

The EARN IT Act removes the immunity that tech companies enjoy when they knowingly facilitate the distribution of child sexual abuse materials.

The EARN IT Act updates federal statutes to use the term “child sexual abuse materials” instead of the term “child pornography.” Using the term “child sexual abuse materials” accurately reflects the seriousness of the nature of these images/videos.

The EARN IT Act establishes a commission of survivors, technology representatives, and government stakeholders to create recommendations and voluntary best practices for tech companies to respond to the global pandemic of online sexual exploitation of children.

What are the main objections from Big Tech?

1. The EARN IT Act undermines end-to-end encryption…

Although there are real and legitimate concerns about the use of end-to-end encryption in facilitating child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) and other harms to children, unfortunately, the EARN IT Act does not address that issue. In fact, the Act creates a specific carve out stating interactive computer services that provide such encryption cannot be held liable under state criminal or civil law related to any provision of this Act.

2. EARN IT impacts civil liberties …

The Earn It Act does not change the civil liberties or 4th Amendment protections of any American. This Act does not grant law enforcement any additional legal powers to access an individual’s personal data or communications.  

3. The EARN IT Act creates a Commission dominated by the Attorney General:

The Attorney General is just one of 19 voting members on the Commission. The Attorney General’s only additional role under the Act is to publish the Commission’s agreed upon “Best Practices” on the Department of Justice website and Federal Register. The other 18 Commission members include representatives from Homeland Security and the Federal Trade Commission,  and 16 members from the general public. The general public Commission members include representatives from survivors and victims’ services organizations, law enforcement, and tech industry, as well as constitutional law and privacy experts, consumer rights advocates, and computer scientists.

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