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EU Surveillance center
EU Surveillance center

EU's Chat Control 2: The Unprecedented Surveillance Threat to Privacy and Democracy

Darknet Chat Control 2

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, is currently working on a regulation known as Chat Control 2, which could subject all EU residents to unprecedented surveillance. This proposal directly threatens the basic civil rights and the foundation of democracy in the region.

Chat Control 2 seeks to monitor, filter, and read all forms of digital communication within the EU, including phone and video calls, emails, online forums, cloud storage, chat apps, and more, with the aim of combating crime. This extensive surveillance would impact private individuals, organizations, and companies alike.

The EU Commission aims to create one of the largest surveillance systems in history. While the goal of fighting crime is commendable, the means and results are reminiscent of those in dictatorships, leading to self-censorship, suspicion, security flaws, and the growth of a parallel, shadowy internet.

Under Chat Control 2, all internet service providers in the EU would be required to monitor communication on their platforms using specific algorithms. This would necessitate the creation of backdoors in "secure" systems, effectively making end-to-end encryption illegal. This poses significant risks for everyone involved in communication, regardless of their intentions.

The presence of these backdoors will create uncertainty among individuals and companies, forcing those who handle sensitive information or trade secrets to seek solutions outside the EU. Hackers will eventually exploit these backdoors, making all information within the EU vulnerable.

Furthermore, Chat Control's algorithms will flag suspicious words or images and forward them to law enforcement authorities. However, today's algorithms are far from perfect, and this system could lead to false positives and the invasion of privacy for many individuals.

Moreover, Chat Control is unlikely to be effective against its intended targets. Criminal organizations will continue using the Darknet and encrypted chat apps, while secure communication may become a lucrative business for the criminal world.

The surveillance measures would primarily affect ordinary people, undermining medical and banking confidentiality, whistleblower protections, and journalist source protections. The idea of mass surveillance being proposed and accepted as a legitimate proposition raises questions about the European Commission's view of humanity and trust in its citizens.

Rather than embracing mass surveillance, the EU should focus on legal, accurate, and accepted police work, allowing prosecutors to prosecute, courts to judge, and individuals to communicate with the integrity and privacy they are entitled to in a democratic society.

If Chat Control 2 becomes a reality, many service providers, including us, may have to consider relocating parts of our operations outside the EU. We will not participate in building a surveillance apparatus that threatens democracy and individual rights.

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