Over 300 scientists from 32 countries have signed an open letter of warning about the European Commission’s proposed Child Sexual Abuse Regulation. It sounds like a great plan, to stop sexual abuse, but it gives governments the right to scan every app in every device as it sees fit.
This, the letter says, will be ineffective and have side effects that could make the internet less safe for everybody.
“As scientists, we do not expect that it will be feasible in the next 10-20 years to develop a scalable solution that can run on users’ devices without leaking illegal information and that can detect known content (or content derived from or related to known content) in a reliable way, that is, with an acceptable number of false positives and negatives,” the letter said.
They warn that the “number of false positives will be in the hundreds of millions,” many of them “deeply private, likely intimate, and entirely legal imagery sent between consenting adults.” Like when I send my husband funny photos of our children in diapers or bathing suits.
A bigger problem is that this will put an end to end-to-end encryption. This is the secret key that makes communication private and it will come apart if governments are given full access.
This truly flawed regulation will soon be read and debated in European Parliament.