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The EARN IT Act of 2022 Will Chill Speech and Provide A Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card to Child Predators

The EARN IT Act of 2022 is a bill that has good intentions—to help protect America’s children online. Unfortunately, its design to gut Section 230 and violate the Fourth Amendment will prove more harmful than helpful.

With these concerns in mind, today, NetChoice raised opposition to the mark-up and passage of the EARN IT Act through the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill further amends Section 230 in a similar and equally harmful way to the previous amendment, FOSTA/SESTA. FOSTA/SESTA also had a well-intended goal of tackling online sex trafficking, but in gutting Section 230 ended up hurting survivors.

If enacted, EARN IT will also have significant consequences for online voices.

“Despite seeking to protect kids, the EARN IT Act fails to address its core problem, creating a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card for child predators,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Like FOSTA/SESTA, the EARN IT Act will chill constitutionally protected speech while also giving child predators tools to overturn their convictions.”

“While we all agree that we must protect children, lawmakers must not rush through this deeply flawed bill that risks child safety online far more than it helps, especially when there are better policy tools available that won’t put child abusers back on the streets,” continued Szabo.

Here are NetChoice resources on the EARN IT Act:

  • Policy Brief: NetChoice explains the legal concerns with the EARN IT Act
  • Explainer: The EARN IT Act provides a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card to child predators
  • Coalition Letter: 11 industry groups raise free speech, privacy, and child safety concerns against EARN IT
  • Report: A NetChoice deep dive on the Fourth Amendment Concerns of 2020 EARN IT