Strong encryption ensures that our information – everything from sensitive financial and medical details, to emails and text messages – is protected. Despite its value for consumer protection, security and data privacy, Congress is threatening to undermine encryption, jeopardizing our digital security and privacy.
Last month, the EARN IT Act passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee despite the warnings of technologists, privacy experts and many others who are concerned that the legislation is a veiled attack on encryption and free expression on the internet. Now, one of the EARN IT Act’s biggest champions, Sen. Lindsey Graham, has introduced a new bill that privacy experts have dubbed “a full-frontal nuclear assault on encryption in the United States.”
Encryption is under attack and we have to speak out loudly to save it. Sign our petition calling on Congress to protect encryption.
The EARN IT Act was introduced in early March and in the weeks leading up to a committee vote, dozens of organizations, including Mozilla, spoke out against it. At the last moment, Graham amended it so that it empowers state lawmakers to write new rules – essentially giving 50 different states the power to regulate the internet. That version of the bill passed out of committee unanimously and will soon be before the full Senate for a vote.
Emboldened, Graham is now working to advance another bill he has introduced: the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act of 2020 (LAED Act). As the name suggests, LAED would create an encryption backdoor by mandating that platforms, operating systems, apps, and even hardware be designed with the ability to decrypt data and provide it to the government. That would mean that virtually every tech company would need to completely overhaul much of their infrastructure and products to be LESS secure.
But building a backdoor for the government will only make us all more vulnerable to attack. By undermining encryption in the name of law enforcement, our government would be weakening security for everyone. It’s an egregious attack on encryption.
Tell the Senate that strong encryption keeps our private information safe. Stop the EARN IT and LAED Acts.