On 25 April 2022, the EU Commissioner in charge of the upcoming Chat Control law, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, rejected our third request for a short meeting with the civil society network European Digital Rights (EDRi). She had declined our previous requests to meet about this legislative proposal in February 2022, and before that in April 2020, as well. According to public records for the last 6 months, she has not met with any digital rights groups about this proposed law.
The future law, expected to be put forward on 11 May 2022, will have enormous implications on the privacy and confidentiality of communications across the EU, and possibly the world. It is reasonable to expect that the expertise and advice of those with experience in the intersection of privacy, cybersecurity, data protection and human rights would be sought - but it was third time UNlucky for us...
Click to generate a tweet or manually tweet at @YlvaJohansson to let the Commissioner know that you want digital human rights to be considered in the upcoming regulation!
Commissioner Johansson's team said that she was too busy to meet with EDRi. So, who has she had time to meet with?
Since the beginning of 2022 alone, Commissioner Johansson:
Took a 3-day trip to San Francisco to meet with Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, Meta / WhatsApp, TikTok, Snap and Roblox;
Had a private online meeting with Hany Farid, Professor at UC Berkley, one of the creators of a prominent form of private communications scanning technology, and a vocal opponent of end-to-end encryption;
Had a private online meeting with the Senior Vice President of Global Affairs at Google; and
Took a 2-day trip to Ireland to visit Google's safety engineering center and to meet with Twitter.
European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, announced that the European Commission will propose for a long-term law to derogate from the ePrivacy Directive for the purpose of detecting online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in 2022. Our goal as digital civil society is to make sure that any EU proposal to detect CSAM is in line with the EU’s fundamental rights obligations, in particular that measures are based on law, serve a legitimate aim in a democratic society, and are objectively necessary and proportionate to that aim.
As human rights advocates with expertise in technology, we reiterate the inherent limitations of any tech-based ‘solution’ to complex criminal problems like the dissemination of CSAM, which require a holistic approach. In achieving the goal of protecting children, including preventing the creation of CSAM in the first place, we suggest to explore social and human interventions at least as intensively as technology-based ones.
The EDRi network has developed 10 principles to defend children in the digital age, and seeks to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Commissioner.
You can follow all developments with the file using EDRi's document pool on EU rules on scanning private online communications.