EARN IT Act: Instant Reaction – Morning Consult

Posted: March 5, 2020 at 6:21 pm

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel, NetChoice

What youre seeing is a misunderstanding of what Section 230 is, what it does and its necessity, Szabo said. None of the sponsors of this act have supported existing congressional efforts to explore the unintended consequences of SESTA, a bill passed in 2018 that amends Section 230 to include provisions waiving liability protections for online platforms that host illegal sexual content. They seem unwilling to recognize that SESTA has harmed the very victims it has tried to help. Until we understand the harm of the only other amendment to Section 230, it is premature to consider this legislation.

Patrick Trueman, president and CEO, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Tech companies dont do what is reasonable to do and what every parent would like them to do and what Congress would like them to do, Trueman said. Congress is giving them one last chance before they eliminate the immunities afforded by Section 230.

They can complain all they want about that, but they had their chance and this is their last best hope.

Emma Llans, director of the Center for Democracy and Technologys Free Expression Project

There are pretty conflicting messages today about how to address children sexual abuse materials online, Llans said, noting the Thursday release of voluntary principles from a coalition including a group of U.S. agencies, along with the governments of Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, that were crafted in conjunction with several technology companies.

Its a bit hard to understand why the Graham bill would be necessary if there is in fact this recognition that there is a lot going on and, in fact, discussion already about what best practices are not only between the companies and the U.S. government but also the other countries.

India McKinney, director of federal affairs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Regarding the commission this bill creates, McKinney said: Giving the ability to create law to an unelected body is really problematic, and making best practices mandatory is also really problematic, and we think that runs into some First Amendment problems.

Some of the bill sponsors have said to us in the past that they arent necessarily interested in going out and looking at encryption, but its clear to us that the DOJ, and specifically the attorney general, are.

This story has been updated to include additional comments.

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EARN IT Act: Instant Reaction - Morning Consult

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