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CDT Europe Sounds the Alarm on Potential European Council General Approach to Draft EU CSA Regulation

(BRUSSELS) — On June 13, the Justice and Home Affairs Council will decide on their negotiating position for the EU Child Sexual Abuse Regulation (CSAR), in order to commence negotiations with the European Parliament. The Belgian Presidency will present a progress report on the Regulation, and EU Home Affairs Ministers will be asked to support the text negotiated by the Law Enforcement Working Party, which will be then put for a final vote by the Ministers on June 19.

The Centre for Democracy & Technology Europe (CDT Europe) calls on Ministers to reject the Belgian Presidency’s proposal, given the risks it poses to privacy and fundamental rights, including those of children.

CDT Europe has expressed serious concerns about the current text, in particular that its scope  includes encrypted services. Its dependence on inherently unreliable technologies will undermine privacy, and coerce users into consenting to generalised scanning of their communications. These methods pose a particular risk to human rights defenders, journalists, and others who rely on secure technologies to conduct their vital work.

Silvia Lorenzo Perez, Director of CDT Europe’s Security, Surveillance & Human Rights Programme, commented: “We’re alarmed that the Presidency is seeking to adopt the Council’s General Approach without properly alleviating the multiple concerns and criticisms identified by a multitude of actors, including its own legal service.”

She continued, “The Belgian Presidency has run out of time to reach a compromise that both does the vital job of protecting children online and preserves the fundamental rights of privacy, data protection, and freedom of expression. Member States must not rush into adopting a proposal that so blatantly disregards the concerns that fundamental rights experts all over Europe have unanimously expressed. We call on Member States to reject the current proposal and go back to the drawing board in order to reach a more balanced compromise.”

CDT Europe will continue to closely monitor the negotiations to ensure fundamental rights are adequately upheld in this proposal, and work with involved stakeholders towards a solution that will withstand the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union.


The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is the leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization fighting to advance civil rights and civil liberties in the digital age. We shape technology policy, governance, and design with a focus on equity and democratic values. Established in 1994, CDT has been a trusted advocate for digital rights since the earliest days of the internet. The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has a Europe Office in Brussels, Belgium.