IWF’s Dan Sexton explains vital role new European proposal could have in preventing the widespread sexual abuse, rape, and sexual torture of child victims online

Published:  Wed 1 Jun 2022

Last week, pan-European media network Euractiv released the latest episode of their podcast series, ‘The Tech Brief’. This latest episode, ‘CSAM proposal: children first, privacy second’ looks at the European Commission’s proposal to tackle child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online.

The plans would impose moderation practices on social media platforms, and require service providers like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to detect known and unknown images and videos of child sexual abuse content, and report this content to a new EU Centre dedicated to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse.

While the proposal has been met with mass support from children’s rights activists, and documents a big step in the fight against child sexual abuse online, concerns have been raised at the prospect of the individual’s right to privacy being infringed upon, with claims the plans could be the beginning of an “indiscriminate and disproportionate intrusion into our lives”.

In this week’s podcast, host Mathieu Pollet, sets out to examine both sides of the debate surrounding the new proposal with his two guest speakers, Dan Sexton, Chief Technology Officer at The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), and Ella Jakubowska, Policy Advisor at European Digital Rights (EDRi).

Dan explains the vital role the proposal could have in preventing the widespread sexual abuse, rape, and sexual torture of child victims online, and the impact it could have on ensuring children are kept safe online.

Ella is critical of the proposal and highlights the critical importance of private, secure communications and the danger posed by ‘[undermining] encryption’ outlined in this new proposal.

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or Stitcher or find out more about the podcast on Euractiv’s website.

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