The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently published their 2023 year in review, highlighting the ongoing threats to encryption and privacy in the United States. They focused on three concerning Senate bills that the EFF staunchly opposed over the past year.
The first is the EARN IT Act, which allows tech companies to be prosecuted if they offer encrypted services to users. While it claims to combat child exploitation, experts argue it would mainly serve as a Trojan horse for scanning private user content.
Next is the STOP CSAM Act, which similarly uses concern over child abuse images as justification for expanded surveillance powers that could criminalize encryption.
Finally, there is the Cooper Davis Act that would coerce communication platforms into mass-reporting suspected drug activity to the DEA based on extremely broad criteria.
According to the EFF, together these proposals represent an unprecedented erosion of the right to encrypted private communication. By sending thousands of messages to Congress with the support of their membership base, the organization has so far managed to prevent all three bills from being signed into law. But they emphasize that the fight is far from over as we head into 2024. Kudos to groups like the EFF for continuing to speak truth to power.