Brussels, BELGIUM – Today, the European Parliament’s leading Civil Liberties (LIBE) Committee adopted its position on new EU rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse (CSA).
Parliament’s mandate for the upcoming negotiations significantly improves the Commission’s original wording and would turn the controversial proposal into a workable Regulation.
In particular, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) welcomes the measures adopted by LIBE that narrow scanning obligations, safeguard end-to-end encryption of communications, and strengthen more targeted mitigation measures.
Indeed, the ‘cascade approach’ adopted by Parliament would first have online service providers assess risks and then take action to mitigate those. The tech industry commends this approach, just like the important clarification that detection orders will only be issued as a last-resort measure by a competent judicial authority, and have to be targeted and limited.
CCIA Europe hopes Parliament will stand by its position throughout the trilogue negotiations with the other EU institutions, as it provides much-needed legal clarity. This would also allow providers to take proactive action and prevent such heinous CSA crimes from happening.
It is now essential for Member States to step up the pace and agree a Council position in order for interinstitutional negotiations to start as soon as possible. This is especially urgent given the looming expiration of the Interim Regulation on a temporary derogation of the ePrivacy Directive to combat online child sexual abuse, which expires in August 2024.
The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe’s Senior Policy Manager, Claudia Canelles Quaroni:
“Legislators in the European Parliament have reached a compromise that is proportionate, provides legal certainty, and strikes a good balance between the protection of children and upholding Europeans’ right to privacy.”
“It is important that Parliament defends its mandate during the upcoming interinstitutional negotiations in order to reach a robust and future-proof legislative framework to fight CSA that does not erode the protection of privacy.”