EU Council Presidency’s Last-Ditch Effort For Mass Scanning Must Be Rejected


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As the current leadership of the EU Council enters its final weeks, it is debating a dangerous proposal that could lead to scanning the private files of billions of people. 

EFF strongly opposes this proposal, put forward by the Belgian Presidency at the EU Council, which is part of the EU’s executive branch. Together with European Digital Rights (EDRi) and other groups that defend encryption, we have sent an open letter to the EU Council explaining the dangers of the proposal. The letter asks Ministers in the Council of the EU to reject all proposals that are inconsistent with end-to-end encryption, including surveillance technologies like client-side scanning. 

The Belgian proposal was debated behind closed doors, and civil society groups have only recently been able to even evaluate and discuss the proposal after it was leaked to the press

Users who don’t agree to the scanning will be forbidden from sharing images or links.

If the proposal is adopted, it would represent a significant step backwards. Since 2022, the EU has been debating a file-scanning regulation that would eviscerate end-to-end encryption. Realizing that this system of client-side scanning, which some have called “chat control,” would violate the human rights of EU residents, a key European Parliament committee agreed in November[…]
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