Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Proposed EU Chat Control

Patrick Breyer (via Hacker News):

The highly controversial indiscriminate child sexual abuse regulation (so-called chat control) could still be endorsed by EU governments after all, as France could give up its previous veto. This is reported by Euractiv and confirmed by internal documents. France considers the new “upload moderation” proposal in principle as a viable option.


[Users] of apps and services with chat functions are to be asked whether they accept the indiscriminate and error-prone scanning and possibly reporting of their privately shared images, photos and videos. Previously unknown images and videos are also to be scrutinised using “artificial intelligence” technology. If a user refuses the scanning, they would be blocked from sending or receiving images, photos, videos and links (Article 10). End-to-end encrypted services such as Whatsapp or Signal would have to implement the automated searches “prior to transmission” of a message (so-called client-side scanning, Article 10a).


Probably as a concession to France, the chats of employees of security authorities and the military are also to be exempted from chat control.

This is kind of like what Apple was planning to do with iMessage, using AI rather than just checking for known images, but:

Meredith Whittaker:

Signal strongly opposes this proposal.

Let there be no doubt: we will leave the EU market rather than undermine our privacy guarantees.

This proposal--if passed and enforced against us--would require us to make this choice.

It’s surveillance wine in safety bottles.


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