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LYMEC Statement on the European Parliament’s CSAM Draft Legislation

On Wednesday, 22 November 2023, the European Parliament adopted its own proposal for the Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) draft legislative package.

As the youth wing of the ALDE Party and a platform committed to fighting subversions in the rule of law, LYMEC has been actively engaging on this topic throughout the past year. As part of our Stop Chat Control Campaign effort, we have been raising concerns about the appropriateness of regulating online chat and have vehemently opposed efforts to loosen the burden of proof when it comes to the issuance of detention orders - as covered by the draft regulation's Article 7 - and the ability of authorities to monitor an individual's private communications.

While the deal agreed to is far from the ideal result - it marks a better compromise than the one originally proposed. The European Parliament's position removes indiscriminate chat control and allows only for targeted surveillance of specific individuals and groups reasonably suspicious of being linked to child sexual abuse material with a judicial warrant.

End-to-end encrypted messengers are also exempted - a significant win for safeguarding privacy rights. Instead, internet services will have to design their services more securely and thus effectively prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

This aligns with LYMEC's previous efforts to support better and more comprehensive enforcement of the online digital space to safeguard the rights of children and other vulnerable groups. This includes our past support for the EU's Digital Services Act and other tools proposed and enacted under this Commission to regulate the cybersphere better

For these reasons, while LYMEC will continue to oppose efforts to curb chat, we are pleased with the compromise and hope these key provisions are kept as the legislative process approaches an inter-institutional dialogue between the Parliament, Commission and Council.

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