The Record: Senator proposes new encryption provision in bill against online child exploitation

January 30, 2024

The new draft would remove the word “reckless,” meaning that companies would have more legal protections when offering encryption on users’ personal communications. Privacy advocates have differing opinions on how significant the proposed changes to STOP CSAM are, but most agree the removal of “reckless” is an improvement. 

“Removing liability for reckless acts could be a game changer for the STOP CSAM Act,” said Megan Iorio, senior counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The new bill text doesn’t “broadly threaten encryption like previous versions and instead seems to be more focused on incentivizing companies to act on reported CSAM without breaking encryption, like by suspending accounts that have reportedly uploaded CSAM,” Iorio added. 

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