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Cybersecurity & Standards, European Policy, Government Surveillance

CDT Joins Open Letter on Civil Society Views of Defending Privacy While Preventing Criminal Acts

Today, CDT joins a number of other civil society organizations on a letter to the European Commission reminding it to protect fundamental rights including privacy and free expression as it pursues initiatives to address crime, including the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). European Digital Rights (EDRi) spearheaded the effort.

The letter stresses that the signatories share the European Commission’s goal to protect children. Child sexual abuse is a serious crime with extremely serious consequences for victims. All forms of violence against children online and offline must be effectively eliminated. The letter argues that effective measures to achieve that goal may be found outside of technology, ranging from public education and victim support to improved cross-border police cooperation.

Among other things, the letter calls on the Commission to reject recommendations in a “Technical Solutions” paper submitted to the Commission to help it form a policy response to the spread of CSAM communications services encrypted end-to-end. It points out that short-listed “solutions” giving law enforcement officials exceptional access to encrypted content are fundamentally at odds with the essential feature of end-to-end encryption, which is that only the sender and the recipient can access the content.

The letter can be found here.