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EU Committee: Home Affairs Commissioner Johansson needs to explain lobbying links

European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Press releases

The pressure on Ylva Johansson is mounting: Following the reports of several European media on the close involvement of lobbyists in the preparation of the controversial Child Sexual Abuse Regulation, the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) is now asking her for „clarifications and explanations concerning the allegations“. The Committee Chair’s letter sent yesterday points to a potential „conflicts of interest“ and „possible undue influence in the drafting of the proposal“ for a Child Sexual Abuse Regulation, including by tech stakeholders that have „economic interests“ in the legislation.

Research published this week by several European media outlets has revealed that an international campaign involved in the drafting and supporting of the EU’s proposed child sexual abuse regulation is being largely orchestrated and financed by a network of organisations with links to the tech industry and security services. Today it was revealed additionally that two Europol staff have started working for Thorn, a company lobbying for the proposal. The controversial “chat control” regulation would require providers to indiscriminately scan and potentially disclose all private electronic messages and photos using error-prone technology and „artificial intelligence“.

Member of the Civil Liberties Committee and co-negotiator on the proposed regulation Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party) calls for further steps:

„Johansson will reply to our letter with her usual propaganda on the alleged urgency of her proposal – an argument which we now know has been scripted by a PR agency paid with money of a foreign foundation with ties to US law enforcement. As independent fact-checkers have confirmed, her words cannot be trusted.

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.“