CSAM scanning in chat apps would echo communist surveillance | Technology

Csam Scanning In Chat Apps.jpg

A planned law to require CSAM scanning in chat apps would be illegal, disproportionate, and could increase rather than decrease the risks to children, say experts. It could also see Apple withdraw iMessage from EU countries.

The warning was given by more than 20 speakers at a privacy seminar, as the European Union continues to press for a CSAM measure which would effectively outlaw end-to-end encryption in chat apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, and Signal

CSAM scanning in chat apps

The proposed law was first announced back in May of last year. It would apply to a wide range of services, but the most controversial element is the proposed requirement for tech giants to scan the content of messages in chat apps.

This would, of course, be completely impossible in end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) apps like iMessage. The only way for companies to comply would be to completely rewrite their apps to remove E2EE.

Legislators have persisted in calling for backdoors into E2E encrypted messages, consistently failing to understand that it’s a technological impossibility. As University of Surrey cybersecurity professor Alan Woodward puts it: “You either have E2EE or you don’t.”

Woodward does note that there is a possible workaround: on-device scanning after the message has been decrypted. But that is precisely the same approach Apple proposed to use for CSAM scanning, which proved so controversial that the company permanently shelved its plans.

Illegal, disproportionate, and puts children at risk

TechCrunch reports that the plan has been described as “the wrong response” by speakers at a European Data Protection Supervisor seminar.

More than 20 speakers at the three hour event voiced opposition to a European Union legislative proposal that would require messaging services to scan the contents of users’ communications…

… read more 9to5mac.com

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