CCIA, 4 Associations Send Letter Warning Of Encryption, Safety Risks Of New Bill

BY Heather Greenfield
March 5, 2020

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association sent a letter signed by 4 other associations warning Congress of the collateral dangers of altering the law that gives internet companies legal certainty to remove nefarious content. Under current law companies are granted liability protections which enable them to remove offensive content.

Now several Senators are proposing the “Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies” (EARNIT) Act, which would create a government-funded commission charged with specifying private sector practices for online monitoring and content removal. In the letter, CCIA, Consumer Technology Association, Internet Association, Internet Infrastructure Coalition, and NetChoice explain that internet companies are constantly updating proactive measures to remove harmful content online, including child exploitation and child sexual abuse material. The letter also notes the bill could have implications for online security measures companies are implementing.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“Technology providers need the flexibility to make digital products and services safer and more secure. Law enforcement needs the resources and direction to prioritize prosecuting bad actors.

“Everyone has a role to play in meeting our shared goal of reducing crime online. Unfortunately, creating a new federal commission to second-guess how private Internet companies manage content and secure their users is not the best way to fight crime.”

For additional background information, please see Keir Lamont’s DisCo post that just published here.

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