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Chat Control: Horse Trading While Nobody is Watching

2024-06-17 08:24:50, linus

The Belgian chairmanship of the EU Council wants to vote on chat control on Wednesday, June 19. After another shell game trick to make the massive attack on encryption in chat services appear otherwise, France's resistance is now wavering. The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) reminds us that nothing significant has changed in the proposed regulation.

Forced Voluntariness

The Belgian "compromise" stipulates that users must actively agree to chat control. Naturally, refusal does not come without penalty: those who do not consent can no longer send pictures and videos at all – a significant limitation of the service. “There can be no talk of voluntariness here,” comments Linus Neumann, spokesperson for the Chaos Computer Club.

"Scanning" Breaks Encryption

In the context of the discussion, it is repeatedly claimed that chat control does not constitute an attack on encryption: the actual transmission remains encrypted, and the inspection of all content takes place directly on the devices.
The result is, of course, the same.

Meredith Whittaker, President of the encrypted messenger “Signal”, comments on this:

Mandating mass scanning of private communications fundamentally undermines encryption. Full stop.

In the years-long debate, not a single expert has been fooled by this rhetorical deception.

Mass Surveillance Without Cause

Criminals already use distribution channels that would not be affected by these scans today and will also easily evade the scans in the future. It is widely known that messengers and social networks are not suitable for criminal image collectors,” the CCC emphasized over a year ago.

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