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02/10/2022
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WorkScoop
Senators revive a bill from 2020 — and the related debates over encrypted services from big tech companies. A federal single-login platform won't be usual facial recognition. And a privacy and civil liberties panel created after 9/11 is back to full strength. This is CyberScoop for February 10.

EARN IT round II

Senate Judiciary Committee members considered legislation this morning that privacy advocates are warning could threaten encrypted technologies. The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act (EARN IT Act) would remove legal liability immunity from tech platforms found in violation of federal or state laws regarding child sexual abuse materials. Experts say what the bill could open tech companies up to lawsuits attacking encrypted technologies, discouraging them from offering the services. This is the second time the bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Lindsey Graham, has gone up for a committee vote. It sailed through the panel in 2020. Tonya Riley has the story.


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Login.gov won't use facial recognition ... for now

U.S. government officials say that Login.gov — the single-login platform for users of federal websites — isn't going to be using facial recognition technology until more research is conducted. The stance comes after backlash received by the IRS for launching — and then canceling — plans to use facial recognition on taxpayers logging into the agency's online portal. Login.gov, run by the General Services Administration, is currently used by 60 applications across 17 agencies. FedScoop's Dave Nyczepir has more.


PCLOB is back at full strength

The federal Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) is expected to return after the Senate confirmed two new members to the independent panel earlier this week. Sharon Bradford Franklin will be its new chair, while Beth Williams will join as a member. Bradford Franklin has previous experience on PCLOB, and Williams' resume includes policy work at the Department of Justice. The five-member watchdog has not had its full complement of members since 2017. It was created after the 9/11 attacks to advise the government on balancing anti-terrorism actions with protections for privacy and civil liberties. John Hewitt Jones explains at FedScoop.


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"Toothbrush Singularity" would be an eye-catching title, though.


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