Chat Control: EU Parliament Adopts Position Against Mass Surveillance
The European Parliament adopted its draft position on plans to crack down on child sexual abuse online, calling for the new EU rules to avoid "mass surveillance" or "scanning" of the internet but the battle is far from over as EU Council's position on the issue is still not clear.
The original EU Commission’s bill proposed "bulk scanning and reporting of private messages for allegedly suspicious content by using error-prone algorithms, including „artificial intelligence“. But the European Parliament’s position removes indiscriminate chat control and allows only for a targeted surveillance of specific individuals and groups reasonably suspicious of being linked to child sexual abuse material, with a judicial warrant," wrote MEP of the Pirate Party Patrick Breyer.
The draft Parliament position was adopted by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs with 51 votes in favor, 2 against, and 1 abstaining.
The committee's position needs to be endorsed by the plenary next week before negotiations with EU member states can open.
"The mandate is not expected to be voted on in plenary. The Council could make a further attempt to position itself on 4 December, after which the European Parliament’s negotiations with the Council and the European Commission (“trialogue”) can begin. The majority of EU governments have so far stuck to the plan for mass chat control without suspicion and the undermining of secure encryption. Other governments are firmly opposed to this," said Breyer.
Once EU Council adopts its position, the Trilogues process will begin.
"This will be a complicated series of negotiations between the European Commission, European Council, and European Parliament to agree on a final version of the law based on today’s Parliamentary text and the Council’s position (which is yet to be decided)," explained Proton's Andy Yen in a blog post.