How Can Blockchain Counter USA’s Anti-Message Encryption Bill?
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is endeavoring to warn the public to a bill that attempts to end the encryption of online messages and prevent it from being enacted by the United States Congress.
The so-called EARN IT bill aims that digital messages should first pass via government-approved scanning software to monitor for unethical criminal activity. Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal sponsor the bill.
Blockchain as a measure against government surveillance
The bill’s disregard for privacy offers an open-ended use case for technology such as blockchain. By providing transparency and traceability adjacent security, blockchain-based communications may be a way to circumvent governmental prying.
An instance is blockchain’s adoption by journalists and activists to circumnavigate censorship measures by governments globally.
Sarah Zheng, a journalist for the South China Morning Post, had leaned on the Ethereum blockchain to issue a censored interview with a Wuhan doctor who warned the public about the coronavirus outbreak.
According to Zheng, blockchain made it feasible to encrypt the data with Morse code, QR codes, and deliberate typos. It could be bestowed on social networks. The original piece could not be disseminated through WeChat.
Specifics of the EARN IT bill
The EARN IT bill highlights a series of “best practices” that online entities would be supposed to follow. The EFF claims that Section 230 protections would be removed from any website which declines to uphold these guidelines. If passed, this list will be generated by a government commission led by the U.S. Attorney General, William Barr.
The foundation states Barr has made it visible he would entirely ban the encryption of all digital messages. If this bill is enacted, it will give law enforcement legal access to any communications sent between individuals online. The EFF explains the following about Barr’s influence on the bill:
“Not only will those groups have a majority of votes on the commission, but the bill gives Attorney General Barr the power to veto or approve the list of best practices. Even if other commission members do disagree with law enforcement, Barr’s veto power will put him in a position to strongarm them.”
Propaganda against encryption?
Although Senator Blumenthal accurately notes that the word “encryption” has not been involved anywhere in the bill, the EFF says that the proposal is an “all-out assault” on encryption.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation attaches the following regarding the EARN IT bill:
“You can’t have an Internet where messages are screened en masse, and also have end-to-end encryption any more than you can create backdoors that can only be used by the good guys.”