Stop scanning me!

Privacy empowers, surveillance weakens

We all benefit from freedom and privacy to explore our identity, shape our futures and build communities where we can thrive. We all need safe spaces, especially in insecure situations.

In 2022, European lawmakers proposed new rules with the noble intent to protect children. However, this law allows authorities to have anyone's legitimate conversations monitored.

In doing so, it harms everyone, including those it wants to protect. No one can be protected by making the internet less secure.

The EU must empower people to develop themselves, connect and organise for now and for future generations. If we work together, we can protect children whilst upholding confidentiality and security online.

The proposed law wants insecure technologies that:

Why should I care?

Your private chats will be scanned. You won't able to share anything remotely intimate without the risk of your messages, photos and videos ending up in the hands of some governmental institution.

The technology is known to fail. And as a result, you may be accused of being a (child) sexual offender without having done anything wrong.

We can't afford to get it wrong. We all agree: child sexual abuse is a horrendous act. As a society, we shouldn't waste our effort to tackle this issue on actions that are proven to be ineffective and harmful.

What do people say?

Photo of Emma Prest

We are trying to investigate the same governments that would have access to this scanning technology. Journalists are already under attack and being targeted. This legislation would just give more power to those in authority to abuse their position.

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Photo of Charalampos Kyritsis

Scanning our phones and laptops is an easy scalable door for powerful people to access our private conversations. Today is for CSA material, tomorrow there will be another excuse. Who will say no to other uses when the technology is already there? It leads to breaking of the free flow of information and a chilling effect for freedom of speech.

Charalampos Kyritsis

Young activist, Greece

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It would de facto allow authorities to have access to the content of encrypted exchanges. This would weaken the online security of people who work with sensitive information (journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders, etc.). What about apps and software such as Signal and Tor that don't collect metadata about their users?

Ligue des Droits Humains

NGO, Belgium

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Pixel art avatar of Aura

With this proposal young people and activists will be stripped of the opportunity to find a safe and encrypted space to exchange experiences and to discuss personal and political matters. We don't want to fear that our supposed-to-be private conversations can be turned against us.

Aura

Young activist, Germany

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Photo of Geoff Hunter

If our communications were intercepted, this would damage our stories and the safety of the people who are our sources. [...] People could get killed.

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If we work together, we can protect children whilst upholding confidentiality and security online.

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News & Media

EDPB and EDPS have serious concerns regarding CSA Regulation

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) warn of serious data protection and privacy concerns, serious risks for fundamental rights.

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How the spectre of millionfold abuse haunts European policy-makers

How can sexualized violence against minors be quantified? Many misleading figures are circulating - and on the basis of these figures politicians are calling for more surveillance. An analysis of the biggest misunderstandings.

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UN questions proposed regulation's compatibility with human rights

The UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk speaks against EU's plans to search all private messages and photos without suspicion, using error-prone algorithms.

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The European Commission's own Scrutiny Board: efficiency not demonstrated

The Board points that the CSA proposal is not sufficiently clear on how measures for detecting new child sexual abuse material/grooming would respect the prohibition of general monitoring obligations and on whether they are even efficient.

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A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal

Google has an automated tool to detect abusive images of children. But the system can get it wrong, and the consequences are serious.

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EESC: "disproportionate measures" that open risk for "widespread monitoring"

The EU's European Social and Economic Committee (EESC) shows CSA proposal comes with measures of "disproportionate nature", warns about the "risk of widespread monitoring of all virtual exchanges", questions the approach of "a general sweep of hosting and communication services" and "asks the Commission to make the text better and more specific in order to safeguard secrecy of correspondence and respect for privacy".

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The European Commission doesn't do its homework and instead relies on industry data

The Commission used data on the accuracy and precision of AI tools to detect child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online exclusively from Meta and another tech company, an access for documents request filed by former MEP Felix Reda showed.

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MEPs from different parties: "Refrain from creating or condoning a mass surveillance system"

Members of the European Parliament ring the alarm on EU Commission proposal: "Mass surveillance of digital correspondence specifically would cause widespread uncertainty, distrust and unrest among citizens and businesses".

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The Stop Scanning Me campaign is present in different countries.

Check the German „Chatkontrolle STOPPEN!“ campaign, mobilising at national level.

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Stay updated!

Get the latest news from the Stop Scanning Me campaign and find out how you can contribute to making the internet a safe place for all.

Subscribe today