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Parliament puts pressure on Council to agree permanent rules on preventing child sexual abuse online


15 Feb 2024


Justice & Home Affairs

The European Parliament and the Belgian Presidency today reached an agreement that extends a temporary derogation to EU ePrivacy rules by 20 months to allow the detection of Child Sexual Abuse Material online. The current derogation is set to expire in August 2024 and allows a limited number of online communication service providers to use technology to detect harmful material in emails, chat and messages. 

In November 2023, the European Parliament adopted its position on a new permanent law on fighting and preventing child sexual abuse online. However, the Council has so far not adopted its position and so, any new rules would not be in place by the time the current derogation rules expire. 

Birgit Sippel MEP, European Parliament negotiator and S&D spokesperson on justice and home affairs, said:

Child sexual abuse is a horrible crime and we need to prevent the spread of online child sexual abuse material. For this reason, we have agreed to extend the derogation currently in place that allows some companies to use technology to detect online child sexual abuse material.

However, we have adopted a tight deadline for the expiration of the interim regulation as a means of applying continued pressure on the Council to adopt a position on the permanent regulation.

One-off fixes will never be as good as permanent measures which is why the Council needs to get around the table and reach an agreement with the Parliament on these permanent rules.”


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