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The Senate is about to vote on a bill that will potentially give the companies more power of surveillance. It is called the EARN IT Act.

Politicians say that the bill will hold companies accountable if child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is found on their servers. This means that if users upload CSAM to a company’s servers, that company could be sued.

Critics say that this will give companies the ability to track users by disabling end-to-end encryption. Encryption is when one message is put into code before it is sent and the receiving server also receives it in code. If internet companies can no longer rely on encryption, they will be able to see what users do outright and that power of surveillance is concerning.

Critics say that this will impact freedom of speech because content that is not CSAM could get swept up with content that is. They also say that companies are already aggressively scanning for CSAM and what is currently getting through is hosted outside of the U.S.

Still, politicians like it and so the bill will go forward, despite a request from over 60 human rights groups asking them not to.

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