Washington (AFP) – A US Senate panel Thursday approved legislation aimed at combatting online child exploitation as civil liberties activists warned the measure could lead to an array of constitutional and privacy problems.
The Judiciary Committee voted to approve a revised version of the Earn It Act which would eliminate “blanket liability protection” for online platforms which fail to protect against child sexual abuse material.
The bill, which needs approval by the full Senate and House of Representatives, is among the first to chip away at the liability shield for internet services — under a law known as Section 230 — which has come under renewed scrutiny in recent months.
Backers of the bill say it would provide incentives to crack down on online child abuse and exploitation, but critics say it could shut down constitutionally protected free speech and open up online firms to endless litigation.
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