Online Sexual Abuse Bill, Internet Freedom at Olympics, Washington Nationals Crypto Deal

A Senate Judiciary bill is facing industry criticism on its effectiveness.

Online Sexual Abuse Bill, Internet Freedom at Olympics, Washington Nationals Crypto Deal
Photo of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., from June 2011 by Talk Media used with permission

February 11, 2022 – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously advanced the controversial Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act, aimed at holding tech platforms liable for child sexual abuse material’s spread.

The bill would carve out an exception to Section 230, revoking protection for companies from prosecution when they are believed to be responsible for abuse content on their sites.

Privacy and civil liberties groups are opposing the bill, in part saying it disincentivizes strong encryption of websites.

Under the bill, prosecutors would be permitted to use the existence of an encrypted chat option as evidence that a company fails to protect children.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sponsored the bill, while it has faced some hesitancy to its provisions from Sens. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Chinese Olympic star defends country’s internet restrictions

U.S.-born Chinese Olympic skier and 2022 gold medalist Eileen Gu is facing criticism for comments she has made defending China’s restrictions on citizens’ internet activities.

In response to Instagram users questioning her ability to use the platform while mainland Chinese are not permitted to do so, Gu stated that anyone can download a VPN free from the App Store and use the social media platform.

In the past few years, many VPN services have been blocked by Chinese authorities and individual Chinese citizens who have circumvented the Great Firewall with VPNs or spoken outside of China’s internet have been punished and criminalized.

However, a post displaying Gu’s defense of China was censored on Chinese social media.

In her birthplace United States, Gu has been criticized for refusing to speak about politics throughout her rise to fame.

Nationals bring crypto into the stadium

The Washington Nationals baseball team on Wednesday announced it would partner with a cryptocurrency community that starting next year may allow fans to pay for tickets and concessions with digital tokens.

The community, Terra, runs on a technology created by Singapore-based Terraform Labs.

Terraform Labs and its CEO Do Kwon were subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in November for information on tokens created with Terra network which mirror the price of U.S.-traded securities.

The SEC said it was investigating whether federal law was violated by selling securities in the U.S. without registering with the agency, prompting a suit against the SEC from Kwon and Terraform in response.

The Terra network controls more than $2.7 billion through a decentralized autonomous organization, allowing members to govern the operation of the entire community.