TL;DR: “Will the #EARNIT act pass into law? It doesn’t matter, because #Bitcoin does not respect laws,” Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developer Chris Troutner insisted. He’s written software allowing BCH users to send encrypted messages using apps like Memo.cash. “There isn’t a damn thing any state actor can do to stop the communication or break the encryption,” Troutner promised.
Bitcoin Cash Fights US Lawmakers Attempt to Weaken End-to-End Encryption
In the same way bitcoin cash is censorship-resistant money, it can be censorship-resistant for basic messaging. That’s the idea conveyed recently by BCH dev Chris Troutner. He was spurred-on to take the notion even more seriously by a piece of legislation making its way through the United States Senate, threatening to become law.
The EARN IT Act is the handy work of veteran lawmakers known for promoting government intervention into the otherwise private lives of citizens. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California) are using their concern over “online child sexual exploitation” to weaken end-to-end encryption (E2EE).
Under the proposal, tech companies would have to “earn” compliance certification from a national review board before employing any kind of E2EE, which would, of course, be accompanied by backdoor access for law enforcement … thus defeating the entire point of E2EE messaging. EARN IT is opposed by most privacy hawks and advocacy groups, but they’re often impotent in the face of appeals to child safety especially.
Bitcoin Does Not Respect Laws
Troutner’s solution extends from de facto open-source libertarian leanings of the cryptocurrency community and its Code is Law ethos. In other words, it’s not enough to play legislative games with the likes of Graham and politicians of his ilk who have little regard for privacy in any substantive way. Technology must be proactive, ahead of the game.
“It’s the newest proposal that lawmakers are trying to pass to steal our right to free speech and privacy while the world is distracted with Covid-19,” Troutner explained. “To prove how ineffective these lawmakers will be, I put this video demo of some software I wrote. It lets you encrypt a message and send it to someone using Bitcoin Cash. There isn’t a damn thing any state actor can do to stop the communication or break the encryption.”
“Awesome!,” Armani responded. “Retrofitting current apps to use ECIES in addition to ECDSA seems like a clear good move.” Troutner’s prototype is developing at a near perfect and badly-needed moment. Not only are governments further encroaching into messaging applications, but established social media tech companies such as Facebook are qualifying coronavirus protests around the world as worthy of ban due to their challenging of lockdown orders.
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