Federal Scheme To Spy On Americans Gets Shuttered

(PatrioticPost.com)- The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a well-known privacy watchdog, has warned that a plan put forward by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham could potentially allow big corporations to spy on everything you do online.

The “EARN IT Act” put forward by the two senators, and backed by a large bipartisan group of legislators, would open the door for corporations to see what you write in your texts, direct messages, and even the photos you upload to the cloud.

According to the privacy group, the legislation would “pave the way for a massive new surveillance system, run by private companies, that would roll back some of the most important privacy and security features in technology used by people around the globe.”

The statement added that the law would serve as a framework for private groups to scan all messages sent online and send “violations” to law enforcement.

EARN IT, which stands for Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020, is a bill purported to fight child sexual exploitation on the internet. The idea behind the proposed law is to make it easier for social media networks to crack down on the sharing of child pornography online. It’s technically a condition added to existing Section 230 protections, and if it passes, it would allow social media networks and Big Tech companies to use algorithms and artificial intelligence to scan messages sent by private online users.

And while AI will technically only be scanning to find material that implies child sexual exploitation, or which is identical to the federal government’s database of child sexual exploitation videos and photographs available online, it still means that social media companies are accessing your messages.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, if the legislation is passed it would also allow states to “pass whatever type of law they want to hold private companies liable, as long as they somehow relate their new rules to online child abuse.”

Does taking action against child abuse really require spying on every message sent by private social media users across the country?