Laws & Technology

I have nothing to hide...
I'm sure many of you have heard about the EARN IT Act and the LAED Act before. I know I have, but what I haven't heard much about is what can we do about it? 

Now if this is your first time hearing about this, there's a little you should know. Lindsey Graham a Senator for South Carolina, which for the uninitiated has said that he thinks "Congress might need to explore the need to limit some forms of freedom of speech"(Source) or after it was revealed that the NSA was conducting Global Surveillance said he was "glad"(Source) the NSA was collecting phone records of Americas, has proposed both the EARN IT and LAED Act.

Which put very, very simply, if we take into account the Internet Societies opinion of "Effective encryption is key to secure online communications for everything... a foundational component upon which a trustworthy Internet is built"(Source), would ruin that for everyone.

These new bills apply to operating systems, and apps, and messaging/chat platforms, cloud storage. Really anything that connects to the internet from your phone, to your XBOX, to your smart lights, and would require the providers to design a way to decrypt that data and provide it to Law Enforcement in a readable way. 

What this means is that if Law Enforcement had a warrant they would be able to decrypt everything. Your search history in Google, sure doesn't even matter if its DNS over HTTPS since this applies to data in motion, and the meta data that's encrypted. They could then grab all your photos in Google Drive or iCloud. Get every message sent via WhatsApp, Facebook Messanger, find out exactly what you were doing with the security camera footage from your Ring Camera stored in the cloud. Nothing is off limits here. This doesn't just apply to the giant's like Facebook, Google, and Apple, but if a small company even one without the current ability to do this, can just be ordered by the Government to build a system which they can do this.

Now I'm not an expert on these laws, but let's say Edward Snowden doesn't matter to you, and you are saying "Well I've got nothing to hide, so I have nothing to worry about." The thing is with the internet there are many malicious actors. The complicated passwords, and emails and text messages you have to use to sign into online accounts are there to protect you. Think of your social media account. Now your password is the key into that account, the better the password the better this hypothetical key. Have Two Factor Authentication (Using a code sent to an email or phone number to get in) makes it a much better key, there are people out there that are either consistently trying to find this key, or creating smart computers to do the same.
Now can you imagine how excited they will be to find out that every single online service will have a special key built to get into them? With these keys they can get into your account, your friend's account, your families account. Then if they find keys for multiple services, able to get into Google, Amazon, Apple? 
Purposefully breaking the thing that has allowed us to use and trust the advances of the modern age safely and securely allowing the Government and anyone malicious enough of smart enough that same access seems to me a recipe for disaster. And this is why bills like this cannot be passed.

Now what can you do about it?
Write, call, talk about it!
Write you local Government, call them, everybody is very rightfully distracted right now and not much attention is getting paid to this, its possible you may be the first person to talk to your local government to give them an outside opinion.

Please reach out to your local Government, you can use the following resources to find out who to contact and how to reach them. 

Also if you're not in the mood to write much here's a simple template you can copy/paste into your email, just change the needed information.


Further Information


Dear Senator YOUR_SENATOR_HERE,

I am writing to ask Senator YOUR_SENATOR_HERE to vote against S. 3398, the EARN IT Act of 2020.

I along with many others believe that if the EARN IT Act would pass, it would be detrimental to the foundational functionality and trust in the Internet. If this bill passes not only would the government have unrivaled access to everyone's personal lives, but so would malicious actors domestic and abroad.

Thank you for your time.

YOUR NAME HERE


Further Information


Dear Senator YOUR_SENATOR_HERE,

I am writing to ask Senator YOUR_SENATOR_HERE to oppose S. 4051: A bill to improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to access encrypted data, and for other purposes, and oppose it in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary where the bill is waiting for a vote. 

Much like the EARN IT Act this would be detrimental to the foundational functionality and trust in the Internet. if this bill passes not only would the government have unrivaled access to everyone's personal lives, but so would malicious actors domestic and abroad. 

Thank you for your time. 

YOUR_NAME_HERE


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