EU plan to force messaging apps to scan for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) risks millions of false positives, experts warn

Source: 5/2/24

A controversial push by European Union lawmakers to legally require messaging platforms to scan citizens’ private communications for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) could lead to millions of false positives per day, hundreds of security and privacy experts warned in an open letter Thursday.

Concern over the EU proposal has been building since the Commission proposed the CSAM-scanning plan two years ago — with independent experts, lawmakers across the European Parliament and even the bloc’s own Data Protection Supervisor among those sounding the alarm.

The EU proposal would not only require messaging platforms that receive a CSAM detection order to scan for known CSAM; they would also have to use unspecified detection scanning technologies to try to pick up unknown CSAM and identify grooming activity as it’s taking place — leading to accusations of lawmakers indulging in magical thinking-levels of technosolutionism.

Critics argue the proposal asks the technologically impossible and will not achieve the stated aim of protecting children from abuse. Instead, they say, it will wreak havoc on Internet security and web users’ privacy by forcing platforms to deploy blanket surveillance of all their users in deploying risky, unproven technologies, such as client-side scanning.

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The acronym is wrong it is actually SCAM

“…could lead to millions of false positives per day…” Exactly. I’m in a facebook group where we post pictures of redheads for others in the group to admire. One of the pictures I posted was a pretty redhead gal in a bikini. She was clearly an adult and it was also clearly not nudity but the picture got flagged by FB as “child sexual abusive material”. I quickly contested it and after a human actually looked at it, it was agreed that there was nothing wrong with the picture and the flag was removed.
When you try to have machines do what a human should be doing, all kinds of problems will arise.

This is fine. Let them waste a gross amount of time and resources chasing ghosts.

Welcome to 1984. This is the aim of “democratic” societies everywhere now.

ECPAT, Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime & NCMEC are fascist organizations that are the biggest threats to internet speech in the western world. We need to be vigilante when these goons start proposing survelliance tools like this which will quickly trap innocents with a broad net.

Getting every EU member on the same page is like herding cats. And this plan might provide an excuse for quasi-authoritarian governments like Hungary to monitor online communication of citizens that oppose them.

Last edited 14 days ago by J. Brown

Sounds like the EU wants to relate to their cousins across the pond in Washington by spying on its citizens that those in power find immoral. Can’t imagine how many reputations, lives will be ruined, and costs to their justice systems if this happens.

I’ll always remember when Picasa, then Microsoft’s “free” image-saving, in the cloud platform decided that 19th Century painter Henry Scott Tuke’s oil painting showing some boys lying on their stomachs naked on the beach – in that age, an extremely common occurrence – decided that that image constituted “child sexual abuse material” and accused the person attempting to save it to the cloud of violating their terms of service and warning them of a pending investigation. Further, they were not “allowed” to simply remove it from their collection while it was being investigated.

That tells you everything that is wrong with that term, “child sexual abuse material,” right there and what can happen to people when they run afoul of the obsessives who’ve bent society to their twisted conception of normality and redefined words like “abuse” and “offend” to mean whatever they want them to be. The busybodies have taken over everything!

There are discussions in Congress regarding this same tactic as seen here in this article:

I was a victim of online sextortion in high school. Here’s what I want parents and kids to know (GMA via Yahoo, 8 May 2024)