The European Commission should propose a general monitoring commitment for courier services, in line with the draft proposal received from EURACTIV.
The text marks a victory for children’s rights defenders, but a failure for privacy activists. The European executive is due to release on Wednesday (May 11th) its proposal to combat the online distribution of child pornography (CSAM), according to its English acronym.
” Hosting service providers and interpersonal service providers who have received a discovery order must fulfill it by installing and operating technologies capable of detecting “At the request of the judiciary or the competent independent administrative body, the CSAM shall indicate the draft regulations.
The text states that the technologies used for this purpose should be ” effective »,« reliable enough “and” least obsessive “Maybe they can’t” extract from the relevant messages other information than that which is strictly necessary for detection. »
The commitment also requires technology platforms to assess and accept risks reasonable mitigation measures which are purposeful and proportionate. They will have to report both to the national coordinating body and to the newly established European agency in The Hague, where its closest partner, Europol, is “, – the proposal emphasizes.
It is on these reports that the judicial authorities issue a search warrant. Risk assessment responsibilities also rest with software vendors.
This new European Center (EUCSA) will act as a facilitator for national authorities and platforms. Its purpose will be to provide companies with detection technologies and to manage CSAM indicator databases that vendors should consider in their detection obligations.
First of all, children
The European Commission puts the protection of children on the Internet above all else, unfortunately for the supporters of confidentiality, who were afraid of indiscriminate and disproportionate intrusion into our personal communication.
“ The proposal takes into account that in all actions concerning children, whether used by public authorities or private institutions, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. “, We can read in the preamble of the text.
In other words, the Commission considers that “ of great importance, no [des droits fondamentaux au respect de la vie privée, à la protection des données à caractère personnel et à la liberté d’expression et d’information] are not absolute and should be considered in connection with their function in society “.
Such massive surveillance of reports has been made possible by a deviation from the ePrivacy Directive, which was adopted last July. This allows platforms to perform these scans as long as they are used only to combat CSAM.
The retreat has been criticized, in part for its lack of guarantees and legal basis. It is intended only as a temporary measure until new legislation enters into force or negotiations on ePrivacy are successful.
But for many privacy advocates, the tools that technology can provide may not be the only solution to a larger social problem.
“ In the fight against many problems [le CSAM], for example, excessive workload on law enforcement or poor international cooperation. This proposal does not solve these problems, it does not help children and harms innocent citizens said Reho Zenger, a policy adviser at the Bits of Freedom Foundation and a member of EDRi.
This proposal was also sharply criticized by Renew MEP Moritz Kerner, who called it ” Stasi 2.0 “.
“ Instead of combating these horrific crimes by disproportionately renouncing the fundamental rights of all EU citizens, it would be better to invest much more in police equipment, Europol’s European police force and cross-border cooperation between competent authorities. Said Mr. Kerner.
The main issue raised by the Commission’s proposal is the future of encrypted communications. The project is refused encourage or deter »Use of any technology, including end-to-end encryption, provided that it meets the requirements of the regulations.
End-to-end encryption is available an important tool for ensuring the safety and confidentiality of communication between users, including children the proposal states that “ Suppliers must take all available safeguards to ensure that the technology they use cannot be used by them or their employees for purposes other than »CSAM detection.