By continuing to use the site or forum, you agree to the use of cookies, find out more by reading our GDPR policy

Signal has threatened to pull out of the US if the Congress decided to pass the latest anti-encryption bill into law. Last year, the company went against the Australian government who wanted to pass a similar law in the country. In case you don’t know, Signal is a popular encrypted messaging tool used by individuals and organizations to share sensitive information. However, the company is threatening to pull out if Congress passes the controversial anti-encryption bill. The EARN IT Act was introduced to the US Senate last month and has received a lot of backlashes from the public and companies like Signal. The Act would force the tech companies to forgo the use of end-to-end encryption. Signal developer Joshua Lund explained the implications of the new Act in a blog post titled, “230, or not 230? That is the EARN IT question.” Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act “protects online platforms in the United States from legal liability for the behavior of their users.” This basically means that companies like Facebook and Twitter are protected by law against the misuse of their platform by the users. While companies like Facebook can certainly carry the financial burden of being held accountable for the users’ actions, a small company like Signal cannot. Moreover, end-to-end encryption ensures that the data shared by two users cannot be viewed by a third-party including the platform used to transmit data. This is achieved using encryption keys that encrypt and decrypt data in real-time making it almost impossible for a third-party to eavesdrop without the correct encryption key. The US Congress said it needs to pass the Act to track down criminals who exploit children or use social media platforms for human trafficking and other criminal activities. However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (via Gizmodo) (EFF) has argued that there is already a large swath of existing laws that target child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking ads, the EARN IT Act is not required. Lund correctly noted that “Bad people will always be motivated to go the extra mile to do bad things. If easy-to-use software like Signal somehow became inaccessible, the security of millions of Americans (including elected officials and members of the armed forces) would be negatively affected. Meanwhile, criminals would just continue to use widely available (but less convenient) software to jump through hoops and keep having encrypted conversations.” Follow this and more by visiting OUR FORUM.
 

Translate