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The European Fee’s Controversial Push for Digital Surveillance – Danny Mekić

The European Fee’s Controversial Push for Digital Surveillance – Danny Mekić

2023-10-14 09:16:46

The European Fee needs to show digital communication apps, reminiscent of WhatsApp, iMessage, Instagram, TikTok and X, into mass surveillance instruments in order that digital communications of all EU residents, together with their dwell conversations, photographs and movies, may be robotically scanned for prison offences.[1] Even of residents who aren’t suspected of any crime. This proposal for a CSAM regulation has been unanimously condemned by a whole bunch of teachers,[2] privateness regulators,[3] and even inside authorized specialists on the Council of the European Union itself for its gross violation of privateness rights,[4] but additionally as a result of the know-how for use to implement it’s basically flawed. Certainly, synthetic intelligence can’t precisely detect prison exercise, however will falsely report thousands and thousands of harmless residents as suspects. In the meantime, criminals simply circumvent this technique by deleting these apps from their telephones or disappearing on the darkish internet. Whereas ineffective, European Commissioner for House Affairs Ylva Johansson’s proposal does imply an finish to personal digital conversations for everybody and, for apparent causes, is incompatible with the correct to privateness and freedom of communication and the presumption of innocence.[5] On Thursday 14 September, it emerged that there’s inadequate help within the Council of the European Union for her proposal.[6]

Worryingly, a day later, on 15 September, the Commissioner commissioned a paid promoting marketing campaign on X (previously Twitter) concentrating on the Netherlands,[7] Sweden,[8] Belgium,[9] Finland,[10] Slovenia,[11] Portugal[12] and the Czech Republic,[13] international locations that didn’t need to vote for the present proposal, in keeping with leaked minutes from the 14 September assembly. The marketing campaign, which has been seen greater than 4 million instances, makes use of surprising photos of younger ladies alongside sinister-looking males, ominous music, and commits a type of emotional blackmail by suggesting that opponents of the proposed laws wouldn’t need to shield kids.[14] Equally deceptive is its declare that the proposed laws could be supported by the vast majority of Europeans based mostly on a survey that highlighted solely the advantages however not the drawbacks of the proposed laws. Quite the opposite, surveys by analysis companies YouGov[15] and Novus,[16] which highlighted the drawbacks, confirmed just about no help for the proposal among the many European inhabitants.

To sway European public opinion, nonetheless, the European Fee went even additional. X’s Transparency Report reveals that the European Fee additionally used ‘microtargeting’ to make sure that the advertisements didn’t seem to individuals who care about privateness (folks desirous about Julian Assange) and eurosceptics (folks desirous about ‘nexit’, ‘brexit’ and ‘spanexit’ or in Victor Orbán, Nigel Farage, or the German political get together AfD).[17] For unclear causes, folks desirous about Christianity have been additionally excluded. After excluding vital political and spiritual teams, X’s algorithm was set to search out folks within the remaining inhabitants who have been certainly within the advert message, leading to an uncritical echo chamber. This microtargeting on political and spiritual beliefs violates X’s promoting coverage,[18] the Digital Companies Act[19] – which the Fee itself has to supervise – and the Normal Information Safety Regulation.

If there’s inadequate help for a proposed laws, the one correct democratic response is to withdraw it or, as Germany steered, to amend the proposal in order that it does have adequate help, on this case not introducing the unconstitutional “telescreen”, which appears to return straight out of Orwell’s guide. And never, because the Fee has now tried to do, put stress on doubting member states by attempting to bend the views of their residents to its will with ways eerily paying homage to the disinformation campaigns through the US elections[20] and Brexit,[21] reminiscent of using manipulative promoting, deceptive statistics and micro-targeting based mostly on faith and perception.

By setting apart European values in its quest to push by a controversial piece of laws, the Fee is just not solely doing a disservice to the residents it represents, but additionally endangering the foundations of the Union itself. Due to this fact, the European Fee ought to take the advert campaigns offline and maintain them offline, and chorus from future makes an attempt to bend European public opinion to its will with manipulative disinformation campaigns by unlawful advertisements on social media.

Danny Mekić is a jurist and technologist. He’s a PhD candidate at eLaw, Middle for Legislation and Digital Applied sciences, at Leiden College.

This text appeared in De Volkskrant on 13 October 2023.

Hyperlinks to the related X Transparency experiences

  • Belgium: https://ton.twitter.com/ads-repository/ads-repository/1711840471926919539.csv
  • Czech Republic: https://ton.twitter.com/ads-repository/ads-repository/1711837907810504751.csv
  • Finland: https://ton.twitter.com/ads-repository/ads-repository/1711837769683619880.csv
  • Netherlands: https://ton.twitter.com/ads-repository/ads-repository/1711840731994665240.csv
  • Portugal: https://ton.twitter.com/ads-repository/ads-repository/1711840606450848098.csv
  • Sweden: https://ton.twitter.com/ads-repository/ads-repository/1712470444392264139.csv
  • Slovenia: https://ton.twitter.com/ads-repository/ads-repository/1712471208632188998.csv

Hyperlinks to the related posts

  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1703693679297220882
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1703693679230083398
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1705484644076896484
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704842421090033895
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702947929009336508
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1682000999311892483
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702649579345220022
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702627341791346805
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702626277113377044
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704840209051849212
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704840209018327339
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704842421127741681
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704841235632939431
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704841235599335653
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702650092241506499
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702649579307442321
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1706247924051591442
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702626276882698495
  • https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702650092052726142

[1] https://www.patrick-breyer.de/en/posts/chat-control/

[2] https://docs.google.com/doc/d/13Aeex72MtFBjKhExRTooVMWN9TC-pbH-5LEaAbMF91Y/mobilebasic  and https://edri.org/our-work/open-letter-hundreds-of-scientists-warn-against-eus-proposed-csa-regulation/

[3] https://edpb.europa.eu/our-work-tools/our-documents/edpbedps-joint-opinion/edpb-edps-joint-opinion-042022-proposal_en

[4] https://netzpolitik.org/2023/juristisches-gutachten-chatkontrolle-ist-grundrechtswidrig-und-wird-scheitern/ and https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/could/08/eu-lawyers-plan-to-scan-private-messages-child-abuse-may-be-unlawful-chat-controls-regulation

[5] https://www.ivir.nl/publicaties/obtain/CSAMreport.pdf

[6] https://netzpolitik.org/2023/internes-protokoll-eu-rat-verschiebt-abstimmung-ueber-chatkontrolle/

[7] https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1703693679297220882

[8] https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702626276882698495

[9] https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702650092052726142

[10] https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704841235599335653

[11] https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704842421090033895

See Also

[12] https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1702627341791346805

[13] https://twitter.com/EUHomeAffairs/standing/1704840209051849212

[14] Hyperlinks to the related posts may be discovered on the finish of this doc.

[15] https://nextcloud.pp-eu.eu/index.php/s/5bkdRGyxnAciNBz?dir=undefined&path=%2F&openfile=372951

[16] https://novus.se/egnaundersokningar-arkiv/svenskarnas-syn-pa-chat-control-2/

[17] See, for instance, https://ton.twitter.com/ads-repository/ads-repository/1709243560636166341.csv

[18] https://enterprise.twitter.com/en/assist/ads-policies/ads-content-policies/political-content.html and https://enterprise.twitter.com/en/assist/ads-policies/campaign-considerations/targeting-of-sensitive-categories.html

[19] Article 26(3) DSA.

[20] https://www.channel4.com/information/exposed-undercover-secrets-of-donald-trump-data-firm-cambridge-analytica

[21] https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/2260271/investigation-into-the-use-of-data-analytics-in-political-campaigns-final-20181105.pdf



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