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Congress: Reject Efforts Like KOSA That Fail Kids and Bolster Government Censorship & Surveillance

WASHINGTON—Last night, the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, KOSA would in effect require massive data collection on all Americans and kids, create a censorship regime and suppress parents’ rights online, all while infringing on the rights of every American. 

“House members should renounce surveillance and censorship regimes masquerading as child safety bills like KOSA and instead pursue effective, constitutional solutions for Americans and kids online,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President & General Counsel. “NetChoice instead implores Congress to keep kids safe online by negotiating a national privacy standard to keep all American data secure and passing the bipartisan Invest in Child Safety Act, which will help law enforcement lock up predators online. We also encourage Congress to review the rest of our SHIELD proposals and implement a digital literacy curriculum, echoing models in states like Virginia and Florida.”

KOSA’s sponsors claim the bill does not require age-verification, but in reality, companies will need to verify the identities of their users to avoid the legal liability imposed on them under the bill. This means that if KOSA is passed, the federal government will require companies to collect more data on all Americans–kids and adults alike. The courts have echoed these concerns in NetChoice’s lawsuits against the states of California, Arkansas and Ohio

Furthermore, an unconstitutional law will protect no one. Lawmakers swear an oath when they are sworn into Congress to protect and defend Americans’ rights under the U.S. Constitution—including the First Amendment. Under KOSA, Americans’ access to information online would be impeded, violating this critical protection. Alongside many other groups, NetChoice has emphasized this to lawmakers, and we’ve obtained four rulings so far that echo this point. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) also came out with a report that expresses these concerns to Members. 

KOSA additionally empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has already abused its existing power in favor of ideological pursuits and disregarded congressional oversight leadership from Republicans. House lawmakers should hesitate before bolstering this FTC and handing it power over free speech online.

There is a better path available for lawmakers to help keep kids—and ALL Americans—safe and secure online. Under NetChoice’s SHIELD, we’ve identified constitutionally-sound solutions for Congress and states, including creating a national standard for all Americans’ data privacy, helping cops put more child abusers operating online in prison, and educating on digital literacy and security best practices to better prepare our young people for modern challenges in the classroom. 

Congress should not thwart parents, violate our rights, and jeopardize the data privacy and security of all American minors and adults by advancing proposals like KOSA. There are effective solutions available for policymakers. 

You can find NetChoice’s SHIELD policy solutions for a positive, safe online experience here, and more information about how NetChoice’s court rulings show the problems with KOSA here

Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.