Since 2021, the European Commission has advanced several measures aiming to scan personal messages and emails, even those currently protected by end-to-end encryption. Such actions significantly threaten the privacy rights of EU citizens.
Currently, EU governments are on the brink of rallying a majority to greenlight the "chat control" bill. If passed, this would mandate communication service providers to monitor private messages for “questionable content” and relay any findings to the relevant authorities.
This contentious bill has drawn significant alarm from privacy advocates and digital rights organizations due to its profound implications for privacy rights.
Impact on Privacy
- The “chat control” bill will lead to the mass surveillance of all personal digital communications, infringing upon the fundamental right to privacy that many EU citizens value.
- It introduces the risk of permitting and normalizing both corporate and government monitoring, setting a concerning precedent.
- Undermining end-to-end encryption compromises a critical security feature that ensures only the sender and the recipient can access the content of messages. Weakening this protection will make private communications more susceptible to cyber threats. When end-to-end encryption is undermined or compromised, we all suffer the consequences of these weakened systems, even those residing outside of the EU.
- Knowing that their communications may be monitored can make individuals wary of freely expressing themselves.
- Granting powers to scan and censor digital communications carries the potential of misuse or overreach by both tech companies and authorities, as well as enabling bad actors to exploit such vulnerabilities.
- As a highly influential global entity, the EU's decisions can set precedents for other regions. If "chat control" is embraced in the EU, it might influence other governments to implement similar measures, leading to a global shift that could intensify intrusive surveillance for years to come.
Engage in the campaigns below to make your voice heard:
- Use Stop Chat Control to draft and contact a member of European Parliament (MEP) or to inform your European friends.
- Share this informational PDF on the extent of the proposed data monitoring and what to do about it.
- Join the Stop Scanning Me campaign to stay updated.
- Circulate this open letter by European Digital Rights and other leading organizations on why the EU should vote NO on mass surveillance.
At XMTP Labs, we deeply value the right to privacy and understand the importance of end-to-end encryption in ensuring that privacy. Efforts to undermine encryption doesn't just expose individuals to potential threats, but it also jeopardizes the critical trust between companies and their users. We view overarching surveillance as a threat to the collective safety of global online communities. With the upcoming vote on “chat control”, we sincerely hope that it will be dismissed, reinforcing the right to privacy for all EU citizens and by extension, the rest of the world. Moreover, we advocate for the continued empowerment of companies and developers everywhere in providing robust, private, and secure communication channels for their users.
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