Europe’s chat control mandate begins

Originally published at: Europe’s chat control mandate begins - Prostasia Foundation

Secret artificial intelligence (AI) surveillance tools have been developed by tech companies at the urging of governments, and quietly deployed against millions of Internet users to scan their private communications. However, many of these “chat control” tools violate Europe’s e-Privacy regulation which went into effect last December. The contradiction highlights the way that moral panics…


Taken from the Politico article:

MEPs also decried the pressure they were under to approve the bill, calling it “moral blackmail.”

“Whenever we asked critical questions about the legislative proposals, immediately the suggestion was created that I wasn’t sufficiently committed to fighting child sexual abuse,” Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld said a day before the vote.

While child sex abuse, grooming, etc. are valid interests, the manner at which the EU is going about to address it is fundamentally and overtly flawed.
I predict a significant amount of shortfalls and inapplicable situations, from overwhelming amounts of false-positives, to legal spats, to free speech, and even perhaps organized attacks by nefarious or privacy-conscious actors, will prompt a revisiting of these rules, and perhaps even a rollback of the rules in question.

We cannot allow flimsy and fallacious tools, such as morals-based reasoning and coercion, to act as a stand-in for such a heavy-handed approach. Privacy is one of those things you care about the moment it’s gone, and the thought of AI-screening or worse - actual persons going through your messages to arbitrarily determine whether or not it is worrisome - could have extreme ramifications that will only act as a “foot in the door” for more intrusive regulation.

This kind of crap is the beginning of the end, IMO.

A number of years back, the UK established a blocklist of sites that were mandatory for UK ISPs to use. The law establishing the list was promised to include only CSAM and terrorist-related materials. Only the “worst of the worst” sites and materials would be included, the pols promised.

Fast forward a few years, and you had rightsholders in court arguing that a blocklist was already in existence, and why shouldn’t it be possible to add the names of copyright-infringing sites like the Pirate Bay? The judge agreed, and now sites that are used for, or accused of, promoting copyright infringement are regularly added to the blocklist as well.