"EARN IT" Act

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MagicalAzareal

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Actual legal text:

This looks like an early, early draft to me, but Congress is up-to something which could have some very big ramifications on intermediary liability. It's unknown whether they will make AI filters mandatory or not, although it would seem very likely given the recent rhetoric.

It would seem that officers of providers of interactive service providers have to conduct annual audits to ensure that their systems and operations are in compliance with the "best practices" enacted by the law. If they lie, then they will be subject to two years in prison. Interactive computer services will have a year to come into compliance with the "best practices" after they're initially passed. As always, I am not a lawyer.

I personally think this law is more sabre-rattling than anything else and will die a terrible death without ever being passed, but I've set up a few contingency plans for if it does come into force.

One possibility of what they might enact, it's not entirely unlikely, although who knows.
 
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MagicalAzareal

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More information has come to light!

Newest Bill: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3398/text

Related Links:
 
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MagicalAzareal

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In my personal opinion, this is a very strangely worded bill, it talks about "voluntary acts" which are compelled by weight of law (otherwise it meets the criteria of "reckless conduct")? Is this an attempt to get around the Constitution? I can't say for sure because I'm not a lawyer, but it is just very, very strange to me.

Unfortunately, this is a law which says a lot without actually saying anything, so it is hard to say what it would entail exactly. It may reach all it's goals, or it might not, if the committee decides otherwise. The committee is loaded in a certain way to push awful laws, but it also might not. These laws may not get approved either, although I would imagine there would be a lot of pressure for them to be rushed out the door.
If any provision of this Act or any amendment made by this Act, or any application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of the provisions of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provision or amendment to any other person or circumstance, shall not be affected.
They seem to be ready for the law to be declared unconstitutional.
Nothing in this Act or the amendments made by this Act shall be construed to require a provider of an interactive computer service to search, screen, or scan
I assume this would act as a waiver? Or is like the E.U. where they can give a choice between an economically infeasible option and the one that compels you to scan? I see no note of cryptography in this waiver.

I am unsure of what best practices would be pushed exactly which wouldn't be unconstitutional (as it isn't as if there aren't already laws to deal with criminals). They don't seem to be mentioning any in particular, asides from the ones that effectively strip everyone's rights to try to catch more criminals.
 
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MagicalAzareal

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The Internet Association (lobbying group for Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Netflix, Paypal, Dropbox, Airbnb, Expedia, Etsy and others) have joined in opposing EARN IT. They're largely echoing EFF's rhetoric. It's an alliance of sorts which I can only call "Big Tech" lol

Mozilla is also in opposition, as are some others.
 
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MagicalAzareal

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As mentioned elsewhere, a simple solution to the worst case is to simply disable attachments in PMs, and even then, it might be difficult to argue someone is being reckless, unless they know that their site is generally used for crime or likely to be (in which case you have bigger problems to worry about).

Strong moderation (within an hour or a day) for anything public.

Asking users to be over x age when they sign up (likely 18). Ban anyone who states they are under that. It isn't really worth trying to police PMs for grooming or enticement with weird AIs that are mostly marketing pitches. This bit is mostly to punish Discord, as they have been having a lot of problems of this nature on their site, so they might not go after smaller people... Maybe.

You might also want to simply outsource file hosting to Imgur and let them deal with the bureaucracy. This saves money too, although historic file hosts like Photobucket have gone crazy in the past.

Banning encryption is very likely unconstitutional, as is a mandatory filter regime and strong age gating.

P.S. Trying to cripple the security of Signal is silly when the Senate uses Signal.
 
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