If it is up to Brussels, tech giants and internet companies will have stricter rules for their choosing. For example, it should be mandatory to detect and remove illegal content. More than sixty percent of online child pornography is hosted on European servers. Many Member States have been failing to eradicate this horrific form of cybercrime for years.
The Hague will be given a leading role in the proposed approach. European Commissioner Ylva Johansson (Internal Affairs) wants to open an agency in the international city of peace and justice that will fully focus on preventing and combating the sexual abuse of children.
To save costs and make use of years of knowledge in the field of online child abuse, the new EU center will collaborate with the European police organization Europol, which is already based in The Hague.
“The EU Center will receive, review and share reports with regulators in all Member States,” explains Johansson. “The center will also offer help to the victims and ensure that the illegal images disappear from the internet.” With this approach, Europe should be a global leader in the fight against child abuse, says the Swedish.
The Member States and the European Parliament have yet to consider the Brussels proposals. Civil rights organizations fear the use of technologies that are harmful to internet freedom and privacy. Message service Whatsapp is also very concerned. “The proposal forces companies to scan everyone’s messages and that seriously jeopardizes the privacy and security of EU citizens,” said CEO Will Cathcart.