EU’s Chat Control puts security and privacy at risk

June 18, 2024

Since it was first proposed, the EU’s Regulation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse (aka Chat Control) has gained the attention of security experts, academics, civil society, and the private sector for all the wrong reasons.

Early versions of the Commission's proposal included requirements for media scanning and effectively entail the mass surveillance of Europeans.

Plainly, end-to-end encryption cannot survive this type of requirement. As so many others have said before, as a society we cannot compromise the integrity of end-to-end encryption for the entire population to be able to stop the minority of criminals. All it will do is to encourage criminals to use genuinely secure platforms, while leaving the good actors vulnerable to attack. Introducing a scanner into an encrypted system is essentially introducing a vulnerability waiting to be exploited by bad actors at the expense of everyone’s security and privacy.

It seemed, at the end of last year, that Parliament agreed on a compromise to their position on the CSAM regulation which protected end-to-end encryption, whilst introducing sensible requirements that would actually protect children. It suggested the EU had a good understanding that undermining end-to-end encryption creates more problems than it solves.

Now the pendulum of understanding appears to be swinging in the opposite direction.

We’re disappointed in signs that the Council will be again discussing proposals which would introduce requirements for scanners, including in end-to-end encrypted environments. Vague promises to take security and privacy into account are not enough, we need the EU to commit to the protection of end-to-end encryption.

This is the time to make your voices heard and reach out to your national government representatives. Get informed about the proposal and understand how it might impact you and, in turn, inform those around you too. Share this and other resources far wide so we can keep fighting for secure communications, for everyone.

Related Posts

By the same author

Thanks for reading our blog— if you got this far, you should head toelement.ioto learn more!