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EARN IT: The US Anti-Encryption Bill That Threatens Private Speech Online

There’s a new bill in the works to fight against child sexual abuse material and other risky services on the internet — but it will come at a cost to online privacy.

The post EARN IT: The US Anti-Encryption Bill That Threatens Private Speech Online appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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There’s a new bill in the works to fight against child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and other risky services on the internet — but it could come at a cost to online privacy. 

Eliminating Abusive or Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) was proposed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and sponsored by senators from both sides of the aisle such as Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The bill is also supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

However, this bill is problematic for both freedom of speech and privacy online according to Riana Pfefferkorn, associate director of Surveillance and Cybersecurity at the Center for Internet and Society. 

“This bill is trying to convert your anger at Big Tech into law enforcement’s long-desired dream of banning strong encryption,” argued Pfefferkorn in a blog post. Pfefferkorn’s detailed explanation says EARN IT appears less like a legitimate way to prevent the spread of child exploitation content and more like a covert attempt to ban end-to-end encryption, without having to ban it outright.

At the end of January 2020, a draft of the proposal was leaked and met with similar apprehension not only by Big tech juggernauts (Facebook, Google, etc.) but also their sometimes opposing counterparts, freedom of speech advocates. 

“We’re concerned the EARN IT Act may be used to roll back encryption, which protects everyone’s safety from hackers and criminals, and may limit the ability of American companies to provide the private and secure services that people expect,” Facebook spokesperson Thomas Richards said in a statement to the Washington Post.

Clearly, the issue could not be more sensitive. Patrick A. Trueman, president and CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, recently voiced this opinion, apparently advocating for EARN IT. 

“Right now, Big Tech has no incentive to prevent predators from grooming, recruiting, and trafficking children online and as a result countless children have fallen victim to child abusers on platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok,” said Trueman.

Section 230: The Most Important Law Protecting Freedom of Speech Online

While everyone who has publicly condemned EARN IT has also stated a universal commitment to child safety online and in the real world, many say the bill’s far-reaching approach to content moderation could do more harm than good by essentially eliminating private conversations across the internet, particularly on social media platforms and messaging apps.

To fully comprehend what EARN IT proposes, one needs to understand the importance of two bills passed in the ’90s. These laid the groundwork for how privacy and free speech are supposed to operate for U.S. citizens.

First, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), passed in 1996, allows for the continued development of the internet as a free market and universal good for free speech. Section 230 says that online platforms or providers of interactive computer services mostly cannot be held responsible for the things their users say or do on their platforms. It uses the term “mostly” instead of “always” because platforms are still liable for exceptions that violate intellectual and federal criminal law. Essentially, this means if someone is defamed for being a fraud, that person can sue their defamer, but they cannot sue the platform for providing the space for free speech. 

Second, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), passed in 1994, requires telecom providers to make their networks “wiretappable” for law enforcement. However, it also ensured a “carve-out” for encrypted messages and information services where websites, email, social media, messaging apps and cloud storage fall out of CALEA’s jurisdiction. 

The purpose of these carve-outs was to reach a compromise between the competing interests of network security providers, privacy advocates, civil liberties, technological growth and law enforcement. In combination, Section 230 and CALEA prevent regulation from suffocating growth and development of the U.S. information economy.

Weakening Protections

Since the ’90s, more regulation has passed to undo Section 230. “Section 230 has been amended since it was passed: SESTA/FOSTA, enacted in 2018, pierces providers’ immunity from civil and state-law claims about sex trafficking,” wrote Pfefferkorn. SESTA/FOSTA is currently being challenged in federal court being unconstitutional and doing more harm than good.

There is also already a regulatory reporting scheme for online providers combatting CSAM. Also, Section 230 does not keep federal prosecutors from holding providers accountable for CSAM on their services.

While the current reporting scheme’s success is questionable, there is reasonable evidence to believe that EARN IT is an attempt to regulate communication on the internet more broadly. 

“The so-called EARN IT bill will strip Section 230 protections away from any website that doesn’t follow a list of ‘best practices,’ meaning those sites can be sued into bankruptcy,” writes Joe Mullin, a policy analyst with the Electronic Freedom Foundation. 

Mullin is referring to how EARN IT would target CSAM. It proposes to do this by creating a federal commission to develop a list of best practices for preventing CSAM that online platform providers would have to follow or else lose their immunity under Section 230 — meaning they could be sued into bankruptcy. This commission would largely be made up of law enforcement and allied groups such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

According to Mullin, “The ‘best practices’ list will be created by a government commission, headed by Attorney General Barr, who has made it very clear he would like to ban encryption and guarantee law enforcement ‘legal access’ to any digital message.” 

Although the word “encryption” does not appear anywhere in the EARN IT bill, Mullin is suspicious of how the federal commission might design best practices. For instance, in an earlier draft of the bill, the NCMEC Vice-President stated that online services should be made to screen all messages using screening technology approved by themselves and law enforcement, report what they find in messages to the NCMEC and be held legally responsible for the content of the messages sent by others.

In short, the commission could quietly give backdoor access to all U.S. hosted information services, undoing encrypted messages altogether. 

Centralized Control and “Techlash”

Mullin, Pfefferkorn and other outspoken critics of EARN IT all agree that the bill’s proposed execution is opening the door for the elimination of encryption: the fact that it is never explicitly addressed is especially concerning.. 

According to Mullin, it’s also possible that the current draft of EARN IT will be amended to undo the damage it could do to online privacy. “Could be as straightforward as putting a clause in[,] saying the bill doesn’t apply to encryption,” he writes.

However, until some amendment occurs, critics are wary of a federal commission consisting of fewer than twenty people, according to the latest reports, who would be making large-scale privacy and security decisions for the entire U.S. population. 

Such a potentially big power grab would seem a bit ridiculous, but Pfefferkorn also acknowledged that EARN IT rides on a wave of resentment or “techlash” the U.S. population has begun to harbor against many internet-based companies. This animosity is directed toward both U.S. tech juggernauts, whose business models run off of surveillance capitalism and online free speech platforms which, for the average person, can feel like the “concentrated font of human venality every time we open our phones,” according to Pfefferkorn.

Private Messaging: A Prerequisite to Democracy

In general, free speech on social media platforms is already a nuanced and complicated topic. Even under Section 230, social media platforms can still censor content when they deem it inappropriate internally. For example, Twitter has a keyword blacklist and the protocol for how it works can change on a dime. 

For Nozomi Hayase, social psychologist and writer, surveillance of encrypted messaging is a movement toward forfeiting democracy. By Hayase’s reasoning, privacy is a prerequisite for a kind of solitude that allows people to think and act independently and is, therefore, essential to a functioning democratic society. 

“Democracy requires sovereign individuals who are able to communicate with one another freely. This freedom comes with great responsibility,” said Hayase, who recognized EARN IT as the newest installment of a dangerous trend toward online censorship. “If we really want to have a truly democratic society, we have to accept the fact that it is the duty of each person to develop his or her own moral capacity to determine what is right and wrong, instead of depending on an external authority to tell us what we should or should not do.”

Currently, EARN IT has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Citizens can contact their congressmen directly or take action through the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website.

The post EARN IT: The US Anti-Encryption Bill That Threatens Private Speech Online appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/earn-it-the-us-anti-encryption-bill-that-threatens-private-speech-online?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=earn-it-the-us-anti-encryption-bill-that-threatens-private-speech-online

Blockchain

Kraken Daily Market Report for April 12 2021

Republished by Plato

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Overview


  • Total spot trading volume at $1.74 billion, up from the 30-day average of $1.34 billion.
  • Total futures notional at $555.7 million.
  • The top five traded coins were, respectively, Bitcoin, Tether, Ethereum, Ripple, and Cardano.
  • Strong returns from Uniswap (+25%) and Flow (+11%).

April 12, 2021 
 $1.74B traded across all markets today
 Crypto, EUR, USD, JPY, CAD, GBP, CHF, AUD 
XBT 
$59918. 
↓0.3% 
$641.7M
USDT 
$0.9994 
↑0.03% 
$317.0M
ETH 
$2135.2 
↓0.9% 
$216.1M
XRP 
$1.3753 
↑1.9% 
$126.6M
ADA 
$1.2994 
↑2.6% 
$84.1M
USDC 
$0.9999 
↑0.0% 
$46.7M
DOT 
$40.310 
↓2.6% 
$39.1M
LTC 
$245.33 
↓2.9% 
$34.7M
TRX 
$0.1331 
↑8.9% 
$33.3M
FLOW 
$37.468 
↑11% 
$30.6M
UNI 
$37.402 
↑25% 
$23.6M
FIL 
$166.62 
↓7.0% 
$18.9M
XLM 
$0.5751 
↓1.0% 
$18.6M
XDG 
$0.0712 
↓3.4% 
$17.9M
XMR 
$321.10 
↓2.8% 
$17.9M
LINK 
$32.707 
↓3.9% 
$12.3M
MANA 
$1.0822 
↑1.0% 
$11.5M
BCH 
$669.88 
↓3.0% 
$11.0M
SC 
$0.0266 
↓3.5% 
$9.87M
ALGO 
$1.4637 
↓4.1% 
$9.85M
GRT 
$2.0962 
↑9.6% 
$9.61M
AAVE 
$403.67 
↑8.4% 
$9.51M
ATOM 
$22.173 
↓5.6% 
$9.42M
KSM 
$428.66 
↓2.4% 
$9.33M
EOS 
$6.4521 
↓4.5% 
$7.34M
XTZ 
$6.2194 
↓3.5% 
$6.97M
ZEC 
$218.94 
↓1.5% 
$5.36M
DASH 
$277.71 
↓3.4% 
$4.59M
STORJ 
$2.4142 
↓0.7% 
$4.51M
DAI 
$0.9994 
↓0.03% 
$4.08M
COMP 
$446.04 
↓3.0% 
$3.75M
SNX 
$19.596 
↑3.0% 
$3.13M
ICX 
$2.6855 
↑4.2% 
$3.06M
OMG 
$9.6585 
↑0.3% 
$2.8M
BAT 
$1.4119 
↓2.1% 
$2.57M
KAVA 
$6.5938 
↓5.9% 
$2.53M
OCEAN 
$1.6560 
↓3.6% 
$2.42M
QTUM 
$14.663 
↓1.9% 
$2.27M
CRV 
$3.0164 
↓3.2% 
$2.18M
ANT 
$10.697 
↓4.6% 
$1.93M
NANO 
$5.6921 
↑1.4% 
$1.91M
KNC 
$3.5034 
↓4.6% 
$1.86M
YFI 
$42840. 
↓5.2% 
$1.68M
ETC 
$19.193 
↓5.8% 
$1.44M
OXT 
$0.7723 
↓3.9% 
$1.43M
WAVES 
$15.288 
↓2.2% 
$1.35M
REP 
$47.281 
↓4.1% 
$1.27M
LSK 
$6.4095 
↓6.1% 
$1.09M
KEEP 
$0.7189 
↓4.0% 
$1.07M
EWT 
$16.354 
↓4.3% 
$768K
MLN 
$85.518 
↓4.3% 
$674K
PAXG 
$1741.0 
↓1.0% 
$663K
BAL 
$51.182 
↓1.2% 
$600K
REPV2 
$46.957 
↓4.2% 
$367K
GNO 
$172.93 
↓0.03% 
$292K
TBTC 
$60697. 
↓0.8% 
$50.2K



#####################. Trading Volume by Asset. ##########################################

Trading Volume by Asset


The figures below break down the trading volume of the largest, mid-size, and smallest assets. Cryptos are in purple, fiats are in blue. For each asset, the chart contains the daily trading volume in USD, and the percentage of the total trading volume. The percentages for fiats and cryptos are treated separately, so that they both add up to 100%.

Figure 1: Largest trading assets: trading volume (measured in USD) and its percentage of the total trading volume (April 12 2021)



Figure 2: Mid-size trading assets: (measured in USD) (April 12 2021)



Figure 3: Smallest trading assets: (measured in USD) (April 12 2021)



#####################. Spread %. ##########################################

Spread %


Spread percentage is the width of the bid/ask spread divided by the bid/ask midpoint. The values are generated by taking the median spread percentage over each minute, then the average of the medians over the day.

Figure 4: Average spread % by pair (April 12 2021)



.


#########. Returns and Volume ############################################

Returns and Volume


Figure 5: Returns of the four highest volume pairs (April 12 2021)


Figure 6: Volume of the major currencies and an average line that fits the data to a sinusoidal curve to show the daily volume highs and lows (April 12 2021)



###########. Daily Returns. #################################################

Daily Returns %


Figure 7: Returns over USD and XBT. Relative volume and return size is indicated by the size of the font. (April 12 2021)



###########. Disclaimer #################################################

The values generated in this report are from public market data distributed from Kraken WebSockets api. The total volumes and returns are calculated over the reporting day using UTC time.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blog.kraken.com/post/8612/kraken-daily-market-report-for-april-12-2021/

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Blockchain

Bitcoin Prepares For its Next Move: Where is the 100 SMA, the Key BTC Level?

Republished by Plato

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Bitcoin price is consolidating above the $59,500 support zone against the US Dollar. BTC is now showing a few positive signs, but it must clear $61,200 for a fresh rally in the near term.

  • Bitcoin is holding gains above the $60,000 and $59,500 support levels.
  • The price is now trading well above the $59,500 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a key bullish trend line forming with support near $59,400 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair is likely to start a sharp upward move once it clears the $60,800 and $61,200 levels.

Bitcoin Price is Showing Positive Signs

Bitcoin remained in a range above the $59,000 level and it is showing a few positive signs. Recently, BTC made another attempt to clear the $61,200 resistance, but it failed.

It corrected lower and retested the $59,500 support level. A low is formed near $59,432 and the price is now moving higher. It is also trading well above the $59,500 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

There was a break above the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $61,212 high to $59,432 low. There is also a key bullish trend line forming with support near $59,400 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Bitcoin is now trading above $60,400, but it is facing resistance near $60,800. It is close to the 76.4% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $61,212 high to $59,432 low.

A successful break above the $60,800 level could open the doors for a move above $61,200. If the bulls succeed in clearing $61,200, the price could rally in the coming sessions.

Dips Limited in BTC?

If bitcoin fails to climb above $60,800 and $61,200, there could be a short-term downside correction. An initial support on the downside is near the $60,000 level.

The main support is now forming near the trend line, $59,500 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. If the bulls fail to protect the 100 hourly SMA, there could be a major decline. In this case, the price might decline towards the $58,000 level.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is now gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now well above the 50 level.

Major Support Levels – $59,500, followed by $59,000.

Major Resistance Levels – $60,800, $61,200 and $62,000.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/btc/bitcoin-prepares-for-next-move-61k/

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Blockchain

USDT, USDC, and BUSD represent 93% of stablecoin market cap

Republished by Plato

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Research from on-chain analytics provider Glassnode has revealed that the top three stablecoins represent more than 90% of the sector’s entire market cap.

Glassnode’s April 13 “Week On-chain” report found that the top three stablecoins — Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), and Binance USD (BUSD) — have seen significant growth over the past six months to represent a combined capitalization of more than $60 billion, equal to 92.75% of the stablecoin market.

By contrast, six months ago the combined stablecoin capitalization for those three was less than one-third of its current levels at $19.2 billion. This time last year, stablecoins were worth just $7 billion combined.

The analysis compared the growth of stablecoins with Bitcoin’s market cap, identifying a clear correlation between the two. The report also found that USDT’s supply has continued to increase during recent weeks despite BTC trending sideways, whereas growth for USDC and BUSD has slowed.

BTC market cap vs stablecoin supply: Glassnode

The report notes historic lows for its Stablecoin Supply Ratio (SSR) metric, which measures Bitcoin’s market cap relative to the total stablecoin supply to estimate the global “buying power” of the stablecoin sector.

When BTC prices are low, the supply of stablecoins can buy a larger portion of it to push prices up. Conversely, as prices increase the available stablecoins can purchase less which reduces the influence on prices. Glassnode concluded:

“The growth of stablecoin supplies throughout 2020-21 has held the SSR metric near historical lows suggesting a relatively high buying power of digitally native dollars. The demand for digital dollars appears to be keeping pace with demand for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole.”

Tether’s market cap has over doubled since the beginning of 2021 to currently sit at a record $45.6 billion, according to the Tether transparency report. Circle’s website reported an all-time high of $11.5 billion USDC on April 9, while Goingecko estimated BUSD’s supply to be $5.1 billion on April 13.

On April 7, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire predicted its USDC stablecoin could soon surpass PayPal by settlement value.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/usdt-usdc-and-busd-represent-93-of-stablecoin-market-cap

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