BoF: ‘European Commission wants to get rid of encryption’

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If it is up to the European Commission, companies must do everything possible and impossible to monitor internet users. This means, among other things, that providers of chat applications must devise a way to circumvent end-to-end encryption. Every company has to decide for itself which technological solution it wants to use. The bill has yet to be presented, but already threatens to turn out to be “disastrous”.

That writes Rejo Zenger, policy advisor at Bits of Freedom, in an opinion piece.

Major concerns about the European Commission bill

Today the European Commission presents a bill to tackle the sexual exploitation of children. Although the plans are not yet final, there are already a lot of rumours about the content on the internet.

One of the aspects presumably mentioned in the proposal is client-side device scanning. This means that technology companies remotely scan mobile phones and other devices for child pornographic images. Or other forms of child abuse. Privacy experts are very concerned about this, wrote earlier today.

According to Zenger, the European Commission wants to force companies to look over the shoulder of internet users. If they suspect the possession or distribution of child pornography material, they must remove this information or report it to the police. But it goes even further, according to the policy advisor. “Internet service providers can also be ordered to monitor their users’ internet traffic.”

Eavesdropping on users

The European Commission does not know exactly how companies should do this. And that can create worrying scenarios. Take an application like WhatsApp. This shields messages with end-to-end encryption. This

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