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Chat control gate: EU Home Affairs Commissioner Johansson fails to credibly dispel lobbying revelations

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Following reports from several European media outlets about the close involvement of foreign tech and law enforcement lobbyists in the preparation of the controversial Child Sexual Abuse or Chat Control Regulation [1], the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) last week demanded “clarifications and explanations on the allegations” by EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson. In her response, Johansson attempts to dispel the affair.[2]

Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party), member of the Civil Liberties Committee and co-negotiator of the proposed regulation, comments:

“It was only to be expected that Johansson would reply to our letter with her usual propaganda, including citing a biased and suggestive Eurobarometer poll that violates the rules of good public opinion research. Other polls found overwhelming opposition.[3]

Contrary to the appearance she tries to create, only Thorn was provided with access to top Commissioners and President von der Leyen, certainly not civil society.

The opposition to the bill does not come mainly from Big Tech, but from IT security experts, human rights activists, journalists, and child welfare associations, including victims of child sexual abuse. [4] Big Tech in reality prompted the Chatcontrol 1 regulation, and collaborated in Johansson’s backdooring encryption working group. They are also involved in the lobby network WeProtect.

As independent fact-checkers have confirmed, Johansson’s words cannot be trusted.[5]

To be able to really hold her accountable for her foreign-interfered legislative proposal and lobbying in office, we need full access to all correspondence of DG Home with stakeholders, to see for ourselves the reality .”

[1] https://balkaninsight.com/2023/09/25/who-benefits-inside-the-eus-fight-over-scanning-for-child-sex-content/

[2] https://www.patrick-breyer.de/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Johansson_reply-to-LIBE-letter-on-conflict-of-interests_CSAM.pdf

[3] https://www.patrick-breyer.de/en/poll-72-of-citizens-oppose-eu-plans-to-search-all-private-messages-for-allegedly-illegal-material-and-report-to-the-police/ https://www.patrick-breyer.de/en/chatcontrol-survey-children-dont-want-to-be-protected-by-scanning-or-age-restricting-messenger-and-chat-apps/

[4] https://edri.org/our-work/most-criticised-eu-law-of-all-time/

[5] https://www.euractiv.com/section/platforms/news/fact-checkers-call-out-commission-on-anti-child-abuse-material-proposal/