February 1, 2022

Press Statement in Support of EARN IT to Hold Big Tech Accountable for Child Abuse Images

Statement from Donna Rice Hughes, CEO of Enough Is Enough®® on Introduction of Proposed Legislation to Hold Big Tech Accountable

Enough Is Enough®® (EIE) joins a coalition of more than 100 organizations and child advocates in supporting the bipartisan legislation, Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act (EARN IT Act of 2022, S.3538) which removes blanket immunity from liability for social media and technology companies that knowingly facilitate the distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on their platforms; victims will finally be provided with both civil and criminal remedies as they seek justice.
Sadly, millions of children and families have suffered due to greed for profit by multi-billion-dollar electronic service providers. Instead of protecting children, they knowingly allowed them to be abused and exploited. Under EARN IT, Big Tech is finally going to be held responsible if they do nothing to keep kids safe and will need to “earn” immunity by demonstrating accountability and responsibility as set forth by this legislation.
A critical component of EARN IT is the establishment of a much-needed Commission to create recommendations and best practices for tech companies to voluntarily implement, in an effort to respond to the global epidemic of online sexual exploitation of children. EIE has been calling for the establishment of a commission to prioritize the safety of children online and address the very harms on the online sexual exploitation and abuse of children.  
EARN IT will also update existing federal statutes to use the term “Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)” instead of child pornography. This is a significant step because the term child pornography fails to describe the true nature of the images and undermines the seriousness of the abuse.   
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shared this data from 2021:

In 2021, NCMEC received more than 29.3 million (up 35% over 2020) CyberTipline reports containing over 84.9 million images, videos, and other content related to suspected child sexual exploitation (up 29.8% over 2020). In light of the increasing high volume of child sexual exploitation material being traded online, legislative initiatives are needed now more than ever to address the increasing distribution of child sexual abuse material online and the harm this distribution inflicts on child victims and their families.
As a pioneer of the Internet safety movement at the advent of the Internet age in 1994, EIE recognizes the importance of this landmark legislation. Enough Is Enough® applauds the leadership of Senate sponsors Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as well as House sponsors Representative Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) on this legislation to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and to hold Big Tech companies both responsible and accountable.

"Millions of these horrifying images go unidentified & unreported by the tech platforms that host them because there are so few consequences when these companies look the other way," said Senator Blumenthal. "That ends with the #EarnItAct."
EIE stands ready to support Congress in the effort to end the epidemic of child online sexual exploitation and to make the Internet safer for children and families. We urge all caring Americans to take action by contacting their Senators and Representative in Congress to support EARN IT and consider co-sponsoring this landmark legislation. It is time we collectively say, “Enough Is Enough®”!