TELL CONGRESS, SAY NO TO BAD INTERNET BILLS

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Congress is trying to push through a swarm of harmful internet bills that would severely impact human rights, expand surveillance, and enable censorship on the internet. We’re demanding that Congress focus on passing badly needed comprehensive privacy legislation to actually protect us from the harms of big tech companies and data brokers, instead of pushing through misguided legislation like KOSA and EARN IT.

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The Bills

Take a few minutes to take part in our individual, dedicated actions against KOSA, EARN IT, STOP CSAM, and many more. The more actions you take, the more noise you make about these bad bills.

Call Congress and make your opposition known!

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EARN IT

The EARN IT Act of 2023 threatens to undermine online encryption by punishing companies that provide encryption services. And by repeating the same mistakes as a previous bill called SESTA/FOSTA, it would lead to widespread Internet censorship and crackdowns on marginalized communities. When EARN IT was previously introduced in 2020 and 2022, it was shelved in the face of overwhelming public outcry and opposition from human rights groups. Now, lawmakers are introducing EARN IT for a third time, hoping to pass it and break the internet while we’re distracted.

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KOSA

KOSA claims to make kids safer, but it’s really a dangerous censorship bill that would give the government unprecedented control over the internet. This would put youth in danger by preventing them from accessing potentially life-saving resources. Lawmakers concerned about online safety should reject KOSA and instead work to protect all internet users from abusive tech companies by passing a Federal data privacy law.

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RESTRICT ACT

Lawmakers claim the RESTRICT Act addresses privacy and security concerns around TikTok. But this is about so much more than just TikTok. RESTRICT gives Biden (and all future presidents!) extraordinary new powers to ban Americans from using entire apps simply by claiming they pose a “threat to national security,” outside of any democratic process. Politicians are pushing this bill to show they’re “tough on China”—but instead of protecting us, this law would lead to an internet censored by the president.

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AGE-GATING BILLS

Regressive states across the country are taking away teenagers’ online rights. It started in Utah with two laws that create a mandated social media “bedtime” and give parents complete control over their kids’ accounts, messages, and passwords. Utah lawmakers claim their curfew-and-control bills help children, but these bills actually make children less safe by increasing state and parental surveillance and restricting access to community. To make matters worse, legislation like this is spreading. Arkansas has passed a copycat bill. Louisiana and Texas are trying to follow Utah’s lead, and it’s been introduced federally in Congress.

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STOP CSAM

STOP CSAM wouldn’t actually stop CSAM. Instead, it would make CSAM cases harder to prosecute—like SESTA/FOSTA before it—while reducing privacy protections in ways that would harm vulnerable people. Like EARN IT, STOP CSAM undermines end-to-end encryption, a technology that’s vital for LGBTQ+ youth, survivors of interpersonal violence and stalking, abortion seekers and providers, and activists. Weakening E2EE as a means to funnel more information to law enforcement also sets an alarming precedent for government surveillance. All of us, including children, need to be able to communicate in the digital age without our conversations being spied on. 

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Cooper Davis

The Cooper Davis Act is a misguided attempt to address the public health crisis caused by fentanyl in many communities in the US. The bill does more harm than good: opening the door for increased surveillance of messaging and damaging encryption that ensures digital security online, another EARN IT Act copycat bill. More surveillance will not solve a public health crisis. End-to-end encryption is not a public safety threat. Secure, private messaging protects people’s privacy and should be protected.

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Supporting Organizations

Organizational Opposition to #BadInternetBills

Check out what internet users have to say about the #BadInternetBills

Listen, I'm not gonna lie - all I really want is to just to be able to talk to my friends without worrying. There's so much online BS that makes me give up more and more on life... But it's because I can be online and talk with other people where I never could've. I have opportunities to help people now, places to be, events to start and be with others. I care about my rights because the folks on the internet give me a reason to keep going.
Christian    +Read More
The internet has a ton of information for suicide prevention tips and advice that even the most depressed person can use.
Edward    +Read More
I became aware of these attacks on digital rights through people I follow on Tumblr and TikTok. Reading about the Bills they're trying to pass right now and the implications is honestly terrifying. I get about 80% of my news about current events from Tiktok, 10% from Tumblr, and the rest from researching things in more depth that I originally saw on TikTok. Losing these sources of information would be devestating for me and all the other users who get their news there because we don't trust, for very good reason, mainstream networks.
Gabriella    +Read More
I feel like bills like KOSA will take communities and resources away from kids who desperately need it and have grown up knowing the internet is an outlet for them. They post art and videos, they ask questions and answer them, they interact with those who have similar interests all using the internet. It's valuable and I want to protect that.
Harper    +Read More
I care about defending our rights in the digital age because it gives agency to your everyday person on the worldwide web. By introducing a bill like EARN It that may potentially suffocate grown adults, we risk silencing freelance journalism, and the voices of unseen minorities and marginalized groups. It hasn’t been proven that mass web censorship or surveillance of any kind can be performed in a way that’s fair and just, and keeps the rights of web users intact. The scope is too broad, and the internet is ever-evolving even second to second. The line between well-intentioned intervention to protect the vulnerable, and intentional censorship in order to control citizens in private spaces and criminalize free speech is too thin, and is the building blocks to creating a divided digital space- those who don’t realize they’re being controlled, and those that do.
Misha    +Read More

Further Resources

Letter:
90+ LGBTQ and human rights organizations oppose KOSA

Press Conference:
Senator Ron Wyden, Fight, ACLU, and other advocates speak out against EARN IT, KOSA, STOP CSAM, and RESTRICT

Vox:
‘How laws like EARN IT and KOSA are bad for free speech’

The Verge:
‘Congress is flooded with bills childproofing the Internet’

WaPo:
‘Officials say social media is hurting teens. Scientists say it’s complicated.’

Petition:
Tell Lizzo: Stop supporting a bill that would harm LGBTQ+ kids

NYTimes:
‘Echoes of History in New National Push to Shield Children Online’

Evan Greer:
LGBTQ Youth Are Under Attack. Why are Democrats Pushing A Bill That Hurts Them Even More?