Against the adoption of mass surveillance of messengers, e-mail and chats in the EU.

Against the adoption of mass surveillance of messengers, e-mail and chats in the EU.

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Gunther Adolfsson started this petition to Minister for Home Affairs, European Union Ylva Johansson and


The EU Commission presented a bill on 11 May 2022 that would oblige providers of mail, chat and messenger services to use technical means to scan all messages of their users for criminal content. Currently, this project, which deeply interferes with the privacy of all citizens, is justified by the fight against child sexual abuse.

The argument that criminals will no longer use these very channels that are to be monitored in the future and will easily seek and find other communication channels and as a result the entire blameless, non-criminal EU population will be mass-monitored does not seem to be of interest here.

Despite numerous counter-arguments, the government wants to introduce this measure by hook or by crook, because after the revelations of Edward Snowden in 2013, an increasing sensitivity of citizens led to more and more encryption of internet connections and messages, and secret services, which were used to collecting and evaluating unencrypted data, could no longer do so to a desirable extent.

Encryption itself is not supposedly banned, but it is circumvented by first checking messages and then encrypting and sending them. This means that messages can no longer be described as end-to-end encrypted, since a third component is involved in addition to the sender and the recipient. In October 2021, even world-renowned luminaries spoke out about the risks of this so-called client-side scanning.

Against the backdrop of the invasion of Ukraine, the proposed law takes on yet another, extremely unpalatable aspect. Nevertheless, the project was not abandoned. No sooner had the refugee movements from Ukraine to the EU begun than it became known that countless refugees were installing messengers such as Threema and Signal, which are considered particularly secure. Never before has it been clear how important secure, encrypted, unmonitored communication can be. The security of (also) the messengers of Ukrainian refugees is now to be significantly weakened as soon as possible!

At the time of writing, at least 39 civil society organisations have announced their opposition to this measure and this petition is intended to enable the citizens concerned to do so.

Everyone has something to hide. That's why you wear clothes, you have curtains and shutters, you lock your front door, you use passwords for online banking, for example, and you want messages you send to be read only by the person for whom they are intended.

The Commission's plan is comparable to writing a letter that is checked by a supervisory authority before it is put into an envelope and sent away. The project represents the end of digital secrecy of correspondence.

If this bill is implemented in this way, the door will remain wide open for misuse. No user of a smartphone, which is often expensive and purchased privately, will know what exactly the software (artificial intelligence) scans, with which databases which private photos or videos are compared, where files are sent to for examination, who gets to see the files, where and how long they are stored, at what point criminal charges may be filed without justification. The danger of hacker attacks on servers that store information from smartphones is also clearly present and should not be underestimated!

Furthermore, it can be taken as certain that the surveillance potential of this measure, once introduced, will be further expanded over time!

Crimes must be prosecuted and punished! But this requires targeted investigations and access and not mass surveillance of the private messages of all citizens!

All bodies and persons involved in legislation are therefore called upon to stop this project. The EU likes to call itself a western community of values with democracy, freedom and human rights. The introduction of measures known from autocratic states, on the other hand, makes this description absurd!

Homepage Patrick Breyer (Member of the EU-Parliament):

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!