Brussels – April 30, 2020 – The US Senate is currently discussing a bill collectively referred to as the EARN IT Act. This legislation can fundamentally change the position of communication applications that protect user data, such as Signal. In extreme cases, all conversations could now be subject to control by the US authorities. Millions of Europeans also use popular communication applications.
Pirate MEP Markéta Gregorová comments: “It may be the end of so-called end-to-end encryption in the USA. Current legislation protects communication platform providers from liability for user communication; the proposed EARN IT Act wants to make this protection conditional on compliance with a number of rules, which would inevitably lead to communication monitoring, end of encryption and content filters, which would be in contradiction with the US Constitution and values such as freedom of speech. It would be an unprecedented breach of citizens’ privacy, both American and European. That is why I sent, together with 12 MEP colleagues, a letter to the US Senate, so that they reconsider this bill.”
“Encryption applications are routinely used by government officials in the United States and the European Union and are even recommended by the US military and intelligence services, as well as European governments and institutions. The principle of end-to-end encryption is critical to privacy and freedom of expression worldwide. The creation of a “back door” would force online service providers to betray millions of their customers,” Gregorová calls on senators.
The full text of the letter can be found in the attached document.Open Letter to US Senate EARN IT Act