The following statement can be attributed to Paul Lekas, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy and Government Affairs for the Software & Information Industry Association.
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) strongly supports efforts to detect and remove child sexual abuse material (CSAM) from online platforms. Under current law, CSAM is illegal and online platforms have an obligation to report any such material if they have actual knowledge of its existence. The STOP CSAM Act that was advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee today would instead threaten free speech online, impose additional requirements and create legal uncertainty.
Among our concerns:
- The bill would undermine end-to-end encryption;
- Impose broad reporting requirements that likely would diminish the utility of individual reports and overwhelm law enforcement;
- The timeframe for reporting and removing offending material is unworkable;
- Would open the door to civil claims against online platforms, thereby undermining Section 230.
It is critical to protect the privacy and safety of children online. But in spite of its best intentions, the STOP CSAM Act is not the answer. We call on the Senate to reject this ill-advised legislation.