If passed into law, the EARN IT Act will give the Trump administration the power to destroy essential online encryption services, putting us all at risk of surveillance, censorship, human rights abuses, and other serious threats. But 22 members of Congress on the Senate Judiciary Committee can stop the EARN IT Act right here, right now. Enter your phone number below, and we'll connect you with these Senators so you can tell them: "Protect encryption. Protect free speech online. Reject the dangerous EARN IT Act."
Before Congress can vote on the EARN IT Act, this dangerous legislation must first pass through the Senate Judiciary Committee. If we can convince enough members of this committee to reject the EARN IT Act here and now, we can prevent the EARN IT Act from becoming a law.
On Thursday, July 2nd, the Senate Judiciary will vote on whether or not the EARN IT Act will continue moving through the legislative process. So we're asking everyone on the Internet to call all 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and demand that they reject the EARN IT Act. Please visit NoEarnItAct.org/call, enter your telephone number, and we'll connect you with each member of the committee. Tell these lawmakers how you feel about the EARN IT Act, then press the * key on your telephone to move on to the next call. It's that easy.
Please spread the word to all your friends and family about the need to take action on June 30th. This petition has already gone viral, with more than 550,000 people just like you signing on. If we can get 550,000 phone calls to Congress, we will defeat the EARN IT Act.
Just a few months ago, Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC) delivered an ominous threat to Apple, Facebook, and any other tech company that might refuse to kill encryption programs that prevent malicious hackers, law enforcement officers, and others from accessing our private communications systems: "You're going to find a way to do this or we're going to do it for you."
Now Graham is making good on his threat.
Graham has authored the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2019 — or EARN IT Act, for short — under the guise of protecting children from online exploitation. But in reality, this new legislation is just a thinly-veiled excuse to destroy privacy protections for everyday people like you and me.
You see, the EARN IT Act grants the Attorney General broad authority to force tech companies to do whatever he wants, and what Attorney General William Barr wants is no secret. For decades, he has demanded that tech companies weaken encryption by creating “digital backdoors” that grant law enforcement agencies access to our personal communications. That puts us all in danger.
Security professionals have repeatedly warned us that killing encryption will have disastrous effects, but that hasn’t stopped our government from installing digital backdoors in secure systems. Predictably, hackers discovered and exploited those digital backdoors, wreaking havoc with communication systems, power grids … even nuclear facilities.
Some lawmakers understand the risk posed by breaking encryption. In 2016, a bipartisan Congressional commission concluded that “[e]ncryption is inexorably tied to our national interests.” Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR) has pointed out that "[y]ou can't only build a backdoor for the good guys ... Once you weaken encryption with a backdoor, you make it far easier for criminals and hackers and predators to get into your digital life."
Do we really want criminals and hackers and predators getting into our hospital records, court records, and energy infrastructure? Of course not.
Edward Snowden exposed the American government’s massive — and unconstitutional — digital surveillance program back in 2013. Unfortunately, Snowden’s revelations didn’t stop our law enforcement and intelligence agencies from abusing their surveillance powers to spy on journalists, racial justice activists, and millions more.
Beyond the systemic surveillance issues we face, individual police officers routinely misuse their access to confidential databases to get information on neighbors, romantic partners, and business rivals.
We know that giving law enforcement and intelligence officials access to our communications results in them taking advantage of that access in ways that hurt us — often with absolutely no benefit to the public good. Why should we trust them with even greater access to our private conversations? Simply put, we shouldn’t.
President Donald Trump is ramping up persecution of his political opponents, falsely labeling anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters as terrorists. The DEA has been authorized to “conduct covert surveillance” on people attending protests against police brutality, and the FBI has begun interrogating protesters about their political views.
Many protesters are taking precautions to protect themselves from government surveillance, like encrypting their phones and using encrypted messaging apps to communicate with others. But that won’t mean anything if the EARN IT Act is passed into law.
Encrypted communication services ensure that governments will never be able to silence their people from speaking up about racial justice, global health pandemics, or anything else we want to share with the world. Destroying encryption gives governments one more way of controlling us.
We can’t let that happen.
Lindsey Graham, William Barr, and other government officials have routinely ignored the obvious dangers of their Orwellian surveillance schemes. They have routinely lied and misled the public about their activities and their intentions. Now they want us to earn our right to privacy and our right free speech online. But these rights don’t need to be earned; they are protected by the Constitution.
Don’t let Congress chip away at your essential freedoms online. Sign our petition now to tell your lawmakers : “Don’t kill online encryption! Reject the dangerous EARN IT Act.”