Germany opposes EU plans for ‘chat control’


Open letter

June 20, 2024, 11:30 AM | Source: dpa / Editing: Diana Künstler

Germany will vote against the so-called chat control that the European Commission has proposed to combat sexual violence against children. That is the aim of an open letter from politicians from Europe. The responsible minister also rejects the plans.

Nancy Faeser
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser

“We reject the so-called chat control,” said Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) on Wednesday. Germany will therefore vote no in the Council if the current proposal remains. The encrypted private communications of millions of people should not be monitored without reason. At the same time, it should not be forgotten that behind every horrific photo and video are victims of horrific sexual violence. That is why it is important to take action against this at European level and hold online platforms accountable so that images of abuse are discovered, removed and the perpetrators prosecuted.

Marco Buschmann
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann

In an open letter, 36 politicians from Europe called on EU member states to vote against the so-called chat control. The newspaper was convinced that the proposed measures were incompatible with European fundamental rights. Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) also spoke out strongly against the EU plans. He gave an example: “No one would think that I would have to hand over my photo album to a state supervisor for a preliminary check before I show my most recent holiday photos to a friend.”


The signatories of the open letter include FDP politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann and her party colleague Konstantin Kuhle, as well as Konstantin von Notz and Emilia Fester of the Greens. In addition to politicians from national parliaments such as Germany and Austria, MEPs also signed the note. It continued: “We are committed to protecting the right to anonymous and pseudonymous use of the Internet and to strengthening end-to-end encryption.”


In 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal that would require providers such as Google or Facebook, under certain circumstances, to use software to search for child abuse images in their services. Critics call it ‘chat control’ and fear mass surveillance. EU countries want to discuss the issue again on Thursday.


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