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The EU's plans for chat-control, which in the European Commission's draft remain limited to finding material of sexual exploitation of children and young people as well as sexual advances by adults, include among other things that communication and hosting services can be obliged to scan all content of all users. Not only will machine learning be used to find and report previously unknown images and videos, but text messages will also be analysed and searched for suspicious behaviour. Encrypted communication is not exempt, so that implementation of the plans would be a massive attack on end-to-end encryption and lead to the widespread use of client-side scanning. It is obvious that the use of these dystopian surveillance tools would not be limited to abusive depictions of children and young people in the medium term. Spain which will hold the EU-presidency for the next half year, already declared it would prefer a complete ban on E2EE.
In addition to various other measures, e.g. network blocking, the plans provide for mandatory age verification for app stores, which would not only affect Google and Apple's app stores. If the EU's plans go through, free Linux distributions would not only have to carry out age verification, but would also have to check all applications themselves.
The EU legislative process is long, tough and confusing. This talk will not only be about where we are with chat-control, but also about which EU institutions are at which levers, when, how and where.
And above all, we want to discuss with you what we can still do to stop this dystopian surveillance machine.