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#ChatControl 1.0: Pirates condemn extension by Parliament

European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Press releases

Today, the European Parliament adopted the trilogue deal on the extension of the controversial, error-prone voluntary bulk scanning of private messages and photos for suspected content by US internet companies until April 2026. This extension, known as #ChatControl 1.0 or interim ePrivacy derogation regulation, was now carelessly adopted in a fast-track procedure before the European elections. Initially, the European Parliament majority aimed to extend the regulation by only 9 months to swiftly transition to targeted surveillance of suspects and a more effective approach to protecting children. However, today’s deal extends the status quo by more than twice the period originally envisioned, prompting criticism from Pirate Party MEPs, who have long advocated against this unprecedented mass surveillance tool.

Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament for the German Pirate Party, comments:

“The EU Parliament’s decision to extend blanket chat control contradicts its stated goal of protecting fundamental rights. Moreover, this deal fails to provide a stronger and court-proof protection against child sexual abuse. Victims deserve better. Bulk scanning makes no significant contribution to saving abused children or convicting perpetrators of abuse. Instead, it exposes thousands of minors to potential criminalization, overburdens law enforcement, and facilitates arbitrary private justice by internet companies. As a Pirate, I am working to stop the illegal bulk chat control scanning in court. We will be watching every move of the EU Council which aims at adopting the extreme dystopia of mandatory chat control 2.0 to destroy digital privacy of correspondence and secure encryption.”

Marcel Kolaja, Member and Quaestor of the European Parliament for the Czech Pirate Party, comments:

“Child sexual abuse on the Internet is a severe problem that we should be addressing with all urgency. Unfortunately, the debate on this important issue has become an endless battle for our privacy. As a result, we still do not have an effective framework for the protection of children. Something that we should have put in place years ago. Instead, the Commission is doing unsystematic steps by giving the companies that have historically treated our private data the worst the power to invade our privacy and read all our online messages however they please. They say it’s with children’s safety in mind. However, those internet services have been snooping into people’s private communications for years now and we have seen no convincing evidence that this has actually helped to anything. To think that extending this exemption, the legality of which I strongly doubt, will do more good than it will do harm is naïve to say the least.”

Find more information on www.ChatControl.eu