The European Commission's legislative proposal introduced last May to prevent the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online has been questioned after a leaked legal opinion suggested the approach is incompatible with existing EU rules prohibiting general and indiscriminate general monitoring of people’s personal communications. The advice given to lawmakers by the legal service of the Council of the European Union represents a “particularly serious limitation to the rights to privacy and personal data” and “raises significant doubts about the lawfulness of the regulation.”
The document notes the Court of Justice of the European Union would likely consider "[if] the screening of communications metadata was judged by the Court proportionate only for the purpose of safeguarding national security, it is rather unlikely that similar screening of content of communications for the purpose of combating crime of child sexual abuse would be found proportionate, let alone with regard to the conduct not constituting criminal offences."
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