Companies exist to make money for their shareholders and it’s important to remember that when we discuss what they do to deal with anything bad that happens on their network. That includes Facebook, Google, Twitter et al.
They have grown in a low-regulation environment, which was encouraged by governments all over the world. So dealing with the dark-side of social media and the human condition was always going to be a hard sell to their boards as it costs money and is the antithesis of profit making. See line one of this post.
Unlike the EU, the USA brought in regulation relating to the online facilitation of child sexual abuse through a law stating that when a company is aware of Child Sexual Abuse Material and Grooming on their network they will report it to NCMEC.
NCMEC processes these reports and sends the “cybertips” to law enforcement all over the world for action. These cybertips have saved lives and helped remove countless children from harm all over the world.
So, how does a company become aware of CSAM or grooming on their network? Users reports, sure, but in most cases they are actively scanning their systems for evidence of it in the same way they do for viruses or malware. There are “voluntary actions”.
When the ePrivacy directive comes into force on the 21st of December of this year those “voluntary actions will stop – dead.
The EU commission wants to bring in a law similar to the US law and the procedure to report (EU Style NCMEC) and so has applied for a limited temporary derogation from a number of articles (5 (1) and 6) in the ePrivacy directive that will maintain the status quo until new law can be drafted.
This derogation is currently under consideration at the European Parliament. If it passes, the status quo remains while the EU Commission prepares regulation in the form of law for 2021/22. If it fails, the voluntary action by these companies stop and there will be less children saved or removed from dangerous situations.
Here’s what you can do, as soon as possible:
Sign the petition
Further reading/ watching:
Talk to your local representatives and MEPs – list here .
Support your local InHope Hotline
Read more and see the supporting evidence of what stops if this derogation fails to pass here.