Stop the proposal on mass surveillance of the EU

enaph

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The European Commission is currently in the process of enacting a law called Chat control. If the law goes into effect, it will mean that all EU citizens' communications will be monitored and listened to.


This text was originally published as a debate article in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet and it calls on Swedish politicians to vote against the law proposal. In order for the law to not become reality, more countries need to vote against it. Therefore, we encourage journalists and citizens in all EU countries to question their governments and urge them to vote no.


Right now
, the EU Commission is intensely working on a legislative proposal that would monitor and audit the communication of all European Union citizens. The regulation is called Chat Control, and it really does include all types of communication. This means that all of your phone calls, video calls, text messages, every single line that you write in all kinds of messaging apps (including encrypted services), your e-mails — yes, all of this — can be filtered out in real time and flagged for a more in-depth review. This also applies to images and videos saved in cloud services. Basically, everything you do with your smartphone. In other words, your personal life will be fully exposed to government scrutiny. So, why is it that almost no one is talking about this?


These types of legislative proposals that fully affect and encroach on people's lives — the equivalent of which can only be found in totalitarian states like China — should be discussed on every other news broadcast, and column after column should be written about it in editorial pages. The EU Commissioner responsible for this proposal is Ylva Johansson. Why aren't journalists pursuing her? Why don't they demand answers from the government?


When the so-called 'espionage law' was recently implemented, it required an amendment to the Constitution. Such a thing should not be done hastily. A constitutional amendment needs to be approved by two different parliaments in order for journalists to have enough time to raise the issue and give the people a chance to form an opinion and make their voices heard. But what happened to those discussions? At that time, the Swedish association of journalists woke up way too late. The fourth estate is one of our democratic cornerstones, and Chat Control might make its work more difficult in the long run. We hope that this time, journalists will wake up sooner with a terrible vengeance. But time is running out.


The politicians proposing this legislation claim to be doing it for the sake of the children. The purpose of implementing Chat Control is to be able to detect child pornography and child grooming. But is the purported end the reason why we are not discussing the means? At least, that's the impression one gets from Ylva Johansson's rhetoric. When she speaks about this legislative proposal, she only talks about the children, not about the effect this totalitarian surveillance will have on society. She isn't talking about how it will affect people's basic rights or about other more adequate law enforcement measures. Ylva Johansson, why can't you debate the tools and their consequences instead of using the children as your protective shield?


At an EU conference in January, Ylva Johansson said that a court order would be required to carry out surveillance operations. But this legislative proposal isn't designed that way. Either Ylva Johansson, as the EU commissioner in charge of this proposal, is painting a completely inaccurate picture for her EU colleagues, or she has no idea how her proposal is written. She has previously stated that it is possible to carry out this type of mass surveillance while still protecting people's privacy. However, that is just not the way technology works. Ylva Johansson, how can you make a legislative proposal that the UN human rights commissioner has torn to shreds, a proposal that counters the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights? And how can you be sure that such a system will never be used for any other type of surveillance?


When the National Defense Radio Establishment (NDRE) law was implemented in 2008, the Director-General of NDRE, Ingvar Åkesson, wrote that "there is this idea that the NDRE is going to listen to all Swedes' phone calls and read their e-mails and text messages. A disgusting thought. How can so many people believe that a democratically elected parliament would treat its people so badly?"


However, 13 years later, in May 2021, Sweden was found by the European Court of Human Rights to have violated personal privacy due to the NDRE law. The Swedish government was urged to immediately correct these problems of legal uncertainty. Instead, however, the parliament did the exact opposite: they voted to extend the NDRE law in November 2021.


This change in purpose that comes with mass surveillance is a huge problem and should at least be of interest to our journalists. Once a massive system for communication surveillance is put in place, it will be very easy to switch the filter at any given time. It can be switched before you say the word 'constitution'. Journalists who, for example, want to maintain the anonymity of their sources should be very concerned about this.


Let's be very clear here. Simply implementing this legislation in its current state will be a violation of all EU citizens' privacy. These types of AI systems are not very precise and will thus wrongly select family vacation photos from the beach, video calls with online doctors, intimate text messages between partners, and conversations from dating apps. On the one hand, there is a risk of flooding the police with the task of going through all the material, which will steal resources that could be used to chase those who create this type of material. On the other hand, there is the obvious risk that people's most intimate but completely legal images will end up in the wrong hands.


However, the biggest problem isn't the direct consequences; it's what's waiting around the corner. We will start self-censoring ourselves. In the first place, this will concern material that we believe might get caught in this filter. When there is a change in what is mass-monitored, when we can only guess who is monitoring our communications and with what agenda, we will change our behavior based on that. That is how the democratic functions of a society are worn down. If we install these types of back doors, that is the point at which our freedom will slowly slip away. If we don't want to try to close them in a raging storm, we better not open these doors at all.


letters_b.png



Sweden is currently serving as chairman of the EU's Council of Ministers, and, in the end, both Sweden's EU parliamentarians and Sweden in the Council of Ministers will vote on the issue. We will send letters to the politicians involved and ask them to vote against this law. And if someone else opens and reads these letters somewhere along the way, that person would violate postal secrecy, which is regulated in Sweden's constitution. This person could then be sentenced to up to two years in prison, a slightly different view of privacy than the one expressed in the Chat Control proposal.


Mullvad VPN
 

HarborFront

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Quote

.........it will mean that all EU citizens' communications will be monitored and listened to.

Unquote

So does it affect VPN especially Muvad VPN?



:rolleyes:
 

Chipicao

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May 17, 2020
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Quote

.........it will mean that all EU citizens' communications will be monitored and listened to.

Unquote

So does it affect VPN especially Muvad VPN?



:rolleyes:
Affects in all.. They can be persecuted, forced, silenced in providing VPN services in Europe, mostly European Servers.
The worst thing is if they don't own some servers that can be hard even with encryption no one guarantees that they won't do that to other servers or clients information under European websites and services.

Mullvad is acting correctly.
 

HarborFront

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Affects in all.. They can be persecuted, forced, silenced in providing VPN services in Europe, mostly European Servers.
The worst thing is if they don't own some servers that can be hard even with encryption no one guarantees that they won't do that to other servers or clients information under European websites and services.

Mullvad is acting correctly.


Correctly in acting what? Providing VPN service?
 

enaph

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Correctly in acting what? Providing VPN service?
In sending the letters to the politicians:
We will send letters to the politicians involved and ask them to vote against this law. And if someone else opens and reads these letters somewhere along the way, that person would violate postal secrecy, which is regulated in Sweden's constitution. This person could then be sentenced to up to two years in prison, a slightly different view of privacy than the one expressed in the Chat Control proposal.
 
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HarborFront

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More on Chat Control here


Quote

Chat Control requires all communications traffic to be searched in real time for illegal content, but in order to search private communications secured with encryption, the encryption has to be broken.

Encryption is our most powerful weapon against data being stolen and is essential for many legitimate things we do online. It is required to keep our sensitive data safe, such as bank account & credit card info when we are banking or buying something online. Doctors, lawyers, and other professionals having conversations with patients or clients need encryption in order to maintain confidentiality. Encryption can literally be a matter of life or death for anyone who needs to maintain anonymity online and keep their conversations confidential – for example, independent journalists, whistleblowers, activists – or victims of domestic violence, rape, stalking, or child abuse who are trying to escape their attackers or seeking safety and support.

Despite suggestions that gaining access to encrypted data “might not require” breaking the encryption, decrypting the contents of encrypted data is literally breaking the encryption.

Likewise, once a method exists to break a type of encryption, it cannot be limited to “only certain people” or “only certain messages” with any certainty – it’s essentially a master key that can be used to unlock anyone’s messages that have been locked with that key. This type of access is an encryption backdoor (sometimes called a universal key, or having “exceptional access”). Encryption backdoors are a major threat to everyone’s security when they fall into the wrong hands or they are discovered and exploited by the “bad guys”, and it’s a matter of when – not if – those things will happen. Other approaches, such as “Client-side scanning“, “Secure enclave”, etc. are sometimes mentioned as a “more reasonable” intervention for end-to-end encryption – which is misleading – because they’re just different ways of breaking encryption and they are still backdoors (so your privacy and security are still at risk).

Unquote
 
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SpyNetGirl

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Jan 30, 2023
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Chat control is an amazing policy and EU should implement it so that Europe will no longer be a safe heaven for foreign agents and terrorists. those that are against this legislation only see one side of the story, the amount of security and control that this law will give the authorities provide much more benefits that nobody talks about.

nowadays everyone wants to encrypt, do private stuff that nobody else sees, well guess what, terrorists want to do exactly the same, they need it even more than regular citizens.

and contrary to what some blog posts say about your intimate conversations being monitored etc. that's just pure propaganda, only to provoke the feelings of citizens so that they will oppose this legislation. unless you are talking about planting a bomb or doing something illegal, there is nothing to be worried about. obviously they don't care about trivial conversations.

doctor, patient conversations? of course they are Not in danger or anything. unless the patient is telling their doctor they want to do something terrorist and endanger people, then they need to be stopped preemptively.

banking data? what about them? again obviously, your banking data has nothing to do with this law, Unless you are funding terrorists.
 
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enaph

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It is almost funny, on one side EU forced the annoying and useless cookie noticies to protect our privacy and on the other side, they want to monitor everything we do.
This only shows what a bunch of incompetent and lying pigs politicians are.
 
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Orchid

Level 1
Jan 27, 2023
44
When reading this article, I began to ask myself: why is someone finally talking about this now? People who haven't lived under a rock for the past 10+ years know that the government (everywhere) was secretly getting users' information back then: Emails, Text Messages, etc. Most government programs have stopped since whistleblowers called them out on it, but there was never any guarantee that the government stop this snooping/spying on their citizens. For some, we try to use software to protect ourselves, only for the company to sell their personal information. There are only a select few software doesn't do this. However, to get to the root of the problem is to say no to this law. I hope people in the EU stand/speak up cause the louder they are, the more effective chance that this law will not pass.
 
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