Sen. Graham Postpones EARN IT Act Hearing, Salutes It for 'Rattling the System'

Sen. Graham Postpones EARN IT Act Hearing, Salutes It for 'Rattling the System'

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary postponed a hearing this morning concerning the EARN IT Act, which sex workers activists and digital rights activists have termed “the New FOSTA.”

The EARN IT Act was introduced by the committee’s presiding chairman, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and co-introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). EARN IT is co-sponsored by Senators Cramer, Feinstein, Hawley, Jones, Casey, Whitehouse, Durbin and Ernst.

The bill’s full title is “Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020.”

Although EARN IT was on the agenda, Graham started today’s meeting by “holding over,” or postponing, the discussion of the bill. Before moving over to other matters, Graham gloated that the EARN IT bill he introduced was “rattling the system,” and celebrated the introduction of a rival project to alter Section 230 protections, the PACT Act, by another committee.

According to news site Politico, today’s hearing was to be “the first markup of the EARN IT Act, S. 3398 (116),” preceding a likely vote next week by the committee.

Critics, including sex workers' rights and digitals right group Hacking//Hustling, contend the bill "would create a group of law enforcement, tech reps and service providers who work on the issue of child abuse to come up with regulations for the internet. Some have already been vocal about wanting to kill user encryption (do you use Signal?). It [involves] many of the same actors and approaches that brought you SESTA, with an even broader mandate."

Main Image: XBIZ screencap/Senate Judiciary Committee Broadcast

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