EARN IT Act threatens to END digital privacy, the FOSS world must not remain silent

For those who don’t know, it’s a US anti-encryption bill that has potential to essentially end digital privacy as we know it by putting legal pressure on software and hardware vendors to implement backdoors like those proposed by Apple… Because many key tech companies such as Intel, AMD, Microsoft, and Apple are US-based, its consequences will reach far beyond the US…

The Senate Judiciary Committee has already voted to advance it, the only thing that can stop it now is overwhelming public pushback…

The FOSS community seriously needs to mount a SOPA-style campaign to raise awareness, but instead there’s only a deafening silence…

And yes, apps that are unrelated to privacy such as GIMP and darktable should join in as well:

  • It’s extremely important to reach outside the tech nerd bubble.

  • Having been desensitized to constant attacks on privacy, many people will dismiss this one as well, even though it’s probably the most grave threat yet. Seeing a graphics app of all things put up a dire warning on its website will hopefully make them realize the full gravity of the situation.

Just please, PLEASE be extremely careful not to overdo it and trigger further privacy restrictions in undemocratic countries. I live in one… Please use GeoIP to only show the warnings to US users, they’re the only people who can do anything about the bill anyway (i.e. contact their representatives).


There are efforts to push a similar bill through in Canada.

Unfortunately, politicians don’t generally understand that any back door created for the likes of the NSA or CSIS will inevitably be cracked by bad actors. When that happens, kiss good bye to anything you do on the web that requires a secure connection…online banking, online shopping, online donations to PIXLS.US, …

Well, it’ll still be ok for cat pix.

Here’s a link to an EFF blog post which sums things up and links to a “look up your representatives” style campaign.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) my representatives are in a different country…

Be sure also that the intention of US authorities is to give the same access to other dictatorships.

Wait, why do NSA or CSIS need to crack backdoors created specifically for them? :stuck_out_tongue: