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European Policy, Free Expression, Government Surveillance, Privacy & Data

CDT Signs Open Letter to the European Commission About the Child Sexual Abuse Regulation

CDT has joined over 70 civil society organisations in an open letter to the European Commission raising deep concerns about its proposed Regulation on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). As indicated in the letter, we believe the proposed Regulation is incompatible with fundamental rights in the European Union.

The Regulation would compel a wide class of communication service providers to scan communications content for known and new CSA images, and for “grooming” conversations. Providers, including those operating services that are encrypted end-to-end, would be obliged to detect this information and report it to a new EU Centre, which in turn would report it to Europol. Providers could be subjected to orders from courts and administrative bodies in Member States to install detection technology, such as that developed by the EU Centre.

The spread of child sexual abuse material online is a serious problem that demands solutions, but CDT believes the proposed Regulation is the wrong approach: it amounts to a mass filtering and surveillance mandate that would jeopardise children’s safety, and that is prohibited by EU human rights and privacy laws. You can find CDT Europe’s briefing on the CSA Regulation here.

The text of the letter is available here.