The death of encryption and freedom of speech in the US on our doorstep?

in #freedomofspeech2 years ago


The EARN IT Act was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (Republican of South Carolina) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Democrat of Connecticut), along with Sen. Josh Hawley (Republican of Missouri) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Democrat of California) on March 5.

The premise of the bill is that technology companies have to earn Section 230 protections rather than being granted immunity by default, as the Communications Decency Act has provided for over two decades.
- Alfred Ng C|Net

Section 203 of the Communications Decency Act protects "interactive computer services" from being treated as the publisher or speaker of third-party content. This law prevents sites like Facebook and Twitter from being legally liable for their users say.

Under the EARN IT Act being proposed, this could be the end of such protections. Instead of having Section 203 immunity, companies will have to certify they follow new best practices established by a new committee chosen by the Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, and the chairman of the FTC. If a company doesn't certify to follow these best practices, it will not have the protection of section 203. This means all these protections will not be provided by default.


“Facebook is talking about end-to-end encryption which means they go blind,” Sen Graham said, later adding, “We’re not going to go blind and let this abuse go forward in the name of any other freedom.”
- Senator Lindsey Graham

The above statement was made by Senator Lindsey Graham, the Senator that introduced the EARN IT Act. While there is currently no wording that mentions the weakening of encryption, as more companies go end to end encryption, it is clear this is something the Government will not allow.

This isn't the first time the Government has tried to put backdoors for law enforcement into encryption protocols. Even if it does not pass, it will not be the last. Rumors speculate there is a good chance this will pass, although currently, it does not have wording in it to weaken encryption, it is not too late for it to be added.

Once there is a hole placed in encryption, it will not just be the Government using it. Every country and criminal will be looking to exploit these backdoors. Without open-source trustworthy encryption, almost everything becomes vulnerable overnight. Your taxes, your medical records, your bank accounts, nothing will be safe.

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The greatest threats to freedom in the US are not what the democrats and republicans so call “disagree” about, they are the things they agree about because those are the agenda items that get passed without the media saying a word.

This could be great for Hive because unless they get >50% of HP they can't do anything. We can start using more #memos

I heard rumor the next IOS update is going to have covid-19 tracking. which apple states you have the ability to turn it off. They are also closed-source so we would never know if it was truly turned off. Our privacy was gone a long time ago, we are now exposed to it more than ever.

Both Apple and Google have developed (Bluetooth) contact tracing functionality. The functionality is expected to be released next Tuesday.

Contrarily to some countries' efforts, the Apple and Google functionality will keep all data local on your device, rather than sending it to a centralized server.

how do you do contact tracing, if data is on each local device? Say person A is identified as a infected.. they will want to trace anyone that came in contact with this person... Essentially, they have all the data and can track everyone

I wont be surprised that they already do some of these things at public transportation and airport... cameras and AI to do face recognition and highlight potential "criminals".. based on history, or frequency patterns of such a person in that space.

Device stores MAC address of each Bluetooth contact it makes. When new infection confirmed, all devices are pinged and those who have stored the address of the new patient’s device get a notification to consider self-isolating because they’ve been in touch with a confirmed coronavirus bearer.
It’s not more than that. A basic notification. There’s no identification at work at all. But we won’t know until both roll out their implementations.

As for your other thoughts, of course that happens and has happened for quite a while already. And on massive scale. At the same time there’s governments (and populations) who object and create stringent privacy laws allowing only approved use of such information. Not Trump tho.

Backdoors for law enforcement is the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Each time a politician suggests one it is a sure sign of them being too dumb for their job. In addition to criminals, there's also foreign governments. Chinese, Russian, North Korean etc. hackers could mess with society in a very serious way.

There are so few people who understand this, it's going to get through. I'm trying to figure out how widespread the consequences will be for almost all tech in USA but I don't think anyone knows. Total insanity.

Rehived :-)

This is bad all around. It is in the nature of governments, all governments, to take freedoms and power from the people.

Zoom was developed in China and is a U.S. company.
They just acquired keybase last week. So if it was a
secure technology and that legislation passes, I
can't imagine that it will stay secure for long.

Great post Marky Mark! I'm from Albany New York but I spend 95% of my time outside the country traveling and living around the world. I saw the virus stuff coming and booked a ticket to Thailand. I'm feeling damn good about my decision. I see what is going on back home and it is sad and frightening. Seeing the people censored and their freedoms destroyed seemingly overnight is mind boggling.

In this post you mention just another grab at our rights and privacy. But I do think this is all part of the great awakening. People are getting smacked up-side their head so hard now by government over reaches many can't help but ask questions and wake up! Sad to say I feel way more free here in Thailand than back home and unfortunately always have (been coming here for 17 years now). No virus where I am, never any lock down, and life is good. So keep up the good fight and thank you for all you do here on hive as well as supporting my blog too. Your contribution to the platform is very much appreciated.

Have a great day!


I was expecting some BS law like this, but it will accelerate moving towards decentralized solutions, so mixed feelings about this.

Who is the FBI going to call when they come looking for someone to give them access to private memos on Hive.

This is hugely worrying and there are hardly any places in the world where there even exists a viable political voice that is against restrictions on secure communications.

What to do... the Covid situation will place gvt into even more control situation... control of quarantine, control of contact-tracing... and curfew compliance.. etc
all in the name of "health care"...

The world will be a very different place when all is said and done.