back to article Dear Europe, here again are the reasons why scanning devices for unlawful files is not going to fly

While Apple has, temporarily at least, backed away from last year's plan to run client-side scanning (CSS) software on customers' iPhones to detect and report child sexual abuse material (CSAM) to authorities, European officials in May proposed rules to protect children that involve the same highly criticized approach. The …

  1. El Bard

    The sound of Perseverance

    Interesting how perseverance is almost universally considered a positive trait, when it can as well (possibly even more often) be a sign of the utmost stupidity.

    1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

      Re: The sound of Perseverance

      There always seems to be a tendency toward narrative over knowledge. People can't shake it until they hit something hard enough to break it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The sound of Perseverance

        Narrative? More like lies. Their claim was that 1 in 5 children are victims of sexual violence, but you follow the links down to their layered evidence, its 1 in 5 children are spanked as punishment, spanked becomes "violence" which becomes "sex or violence" which becomes "sexual violence" as you go through their layers of self citing webpages.

        Even the core, 1 in 5 get physically punished claim I could not verify.

        When children are punished, are photos taken? No. So how would you scan for it. The agenda doesn't in anyway match the rhetoric.

        So someone wants remote scanning of devices to be legal/compulsary. I have zero belief its for their stated reason, it's another one of these 'using your kids as wedge issues' things.

        I do not want my childrens devices watched by some pervy do-gooder scanning their messages to their friends, or watching their computer with their software. I am deeply concerned about their motivation in wanting to watch children, and the hi-viz jacket they wear, in no way reassures me.

        I do not believe their motivations in doing this, and the dishonest numbers confirm their motive as dishonest.

        1. Potemkine! Silver badge

          Re: The sound of Perseverance

          "spanked becomes "violence"

          Spanking is violence.. Hitting a child is unacceptable.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The sound of Perseverance

            Well, yes, but do try and keep up, that's not at all what is being debated here.

            Sorry, but someone had to say it: Whoosh!

            1. Potemkine! Silver badge

              Re: The sound of Perseverance

              Never heard about thread hijacking? :-P

              Sorry, I can't stay without reacting when some child molester claims that hitting a child is not violence.

              1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                Re: The sound of Perseverance

                Fair enough - who was the child molester you were responding to?

                1. Potemkine! Silver badge

                  Re: The sound of Perseverance

                  The one claiming that "spanked becomes "violence"", implying that spanking isn't. He/she may not be an actual molester, but has the moral principles to become one.

                  Unless he/she was thinking about spanking between consenting adults, which is a totally different case.

                  1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

                    Re: The sound of Perseverance

                    The one claiming that "spanked becomes "violence"", implying that spanking isn't.

                    That wasn't the claim at all, as you should really have noted. The posting was about a semantic route from "being spanked" (which though reprehensible is still not a crime in many places) to "being a victim of sexual violence".

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: The sound of Perseverance

                      Semantic as claimed, but also not semantic. Violent spanking is not spanking. It needs the "violent" part to be violence, i.e. attempt to injur, damage part.

                      A massage, for example, is a slap on the butt, not a *violent* slap on the butt. The word has meaning beyond the commenters attempt to pretend that all spanking is violence.

                      1. imanidiot Silver badge

                        Re: The sound of Perseverance

                        That is not what the commenter is claiming or pretending. He's saying that in those papers, those who made up the statistic that 1 in 5 children is victim to child sexual abuse arrive at that conclusion through several levels of obfuscation. One of which is that those researchers (thus not the poster) lump together "child was spanked" (any form or level thereof) with "child was physically abused" (kicked, beaten, burned, thrown down the stairs, etc) under the single header of "abused". The next layer of obfuscation above then lumps all of those in that "abused" group together with children victim of sexual abuse together and thus the number of 1 in 5 children is more accurately described as "1 in 5 children was either mildly spanked once or violently raped over a period of years". One is not great, the other is all manner of abhorrent.

          2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

            Re: The sound of Perseverance

            I wonder why that fact has only become reality in the recent past, probably along with the choose your own gender approach to life.

            1. throe a. wai

              Re: The sound of Perseverance

              I'd hardly call it recent past. Identity cannot exist without narrative, narrative beats knowledge has existed since we've become self-aware. That doesn't mean knowledge isn't important, but it's not a required component in order to live minute to minute, so narrative will almost always win out when there is a conflict.

          3. WhereAmI?

            Re: The sound of Perseverance

            So explain that to every animal in the animal kingdom. Every. single. mammal uses some form of 'violence' to their offspring as a teaching and survival aid.

            Excessive spanking... now that is a different case, just before you throw it at me.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The sound of Perseverance

            So a parent spanking a naughty child = CSAM? No.

            Not even the pretence that parents are allowed to discipline their children, or that such discipline is normal, legal, morally correct, and often essentially, well within parental judgement, necessary to set clear boundaries on a child as they grow up.

            You're not even going to pretend that. Neither did the EU, they simply equated parental corporal punishment with violent sexual abuse and claimed it as reason to spy on private media.

            "Hitting a child is unacceptable."

            To whom? Noam Shpancer (the guy who wrote your wandery article), isn't raising our kids, and thank god for that, he doesn't know what "revert to mean" is.

            "Hey kids, if you don't stop poking the dog, I won't do anything because you'll get bored and eventually stop poking the dog, because that's the mean." Only now the mean is slightly more towards dog poking than before, so next time you can poke the dog more. He freely admits the vast majority of his parents spank their kids. The mean he seeks is made by them, not him!

            Ahh but you didn't want to do *nothing*, you want *alternative* punishments than a quick slap on the butt after repeated warnings. Some sort of slow incidious passive-aggressive punishment the child does not understand or link to the cause. Brilliant! You are an amazing parent, Noam Shpancer would be proud and your kids will need therapy to make sense of your incompetent parenting.

            1. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: The sound of Perseverance

              If your kid is poking the dog at the very least you start with a verbal "*childs name* stop poking the dog. He doesn't like it." instead of slapping him as a matter of course, which is already an alternative. Directly linked to cause. "I poked the dog, I was told not to". If they get to the age where they start learning compassion and alternative viewpoints you can explain further in terms of "how would you like it if you got continually poked by someone?"(Toddlers before that developmental stage are egotistical bastards wrapped in bastard with bastard filling because their world literally revolves around them). Things can escalate from there. There's a scale of escalation and the eventual "slap on the butt" should be the very last option, not the first. Which it unfortunately too often is.

              1. ITMA Bronze badge

                Re: The sound of Perseverance

                Unfortunately, "talking to" often doesn't work with children who are too young to understand such things.

                The same as when does a child truly understand the meaning of "Don't touch HOT!!"??

                Is it when the parents say that to them?

                Or is it when they burn themselves?

                Which do you prefer if the child is too young to under stand the meanig of the verbal warning? They get a (moderate) slap to associate the warning with (some pain) or burn them themselves, possibly badly?

                You can't wrap a child up in cotten wool and protect them from every form of danger.

                They have to learn about the real world and risk. How to identify it and how to assess it and make a judgement about it.

                The sooner they learn that, the safer they will ever be compared to wrapping them up in cotton wool and shielding them from it.

                Because at some point they have to go out into the real world and THAT is the job of parents - preparing them for that. NOT to be their friends. That comes way WAY down the list.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The sound of Perseverance

              Then don't ever visit Wales. Hitting kids is against the law there. https://gov.wales/ending-physical-punishment-children

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The sound of Perseverance

            It's also illegal in Wales https://gov.wales/ending-physical-punishment-children

        2. MrNigel

          Re: The sound of Perseverance

          I remember seeing a demo at the Autonomy London office (behind The Ritz) about 20 years ago where they demoed analysis of image/video streams that tagged it with metadata. Maybe HP have still got this software....?

        3. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

          Re: The sound of Perseverance

          Get the same problem when trying to look at road safety and statistics are relayed in terms of

          deaths and serious injuries.

          But of course, the powers that be immediately go in for an orgy of redefinition around what is a "serious injury"

          As in "We've improved deaths and serious injuries on the roads by 21%." But haven't you chosen to remove broken arms from the definition of serious?

    2. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: The sound of Perseverance

      Perseverance ≠ stubbornness

    3. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: The sound of Perseverance

      It's a "single issue" voter. I once heard such a voter being interviewed, they said "Yes, I am a single issue voter. All I care about is this one issue. Any other issue I don't care about. This one issue is the most important thing in the country/world/universe and overrides any other possible consideration."

      So my single issue is I think smurfs should be outlawed. Politician says they will do away with smurfs. They get my vote. Interviewer: "That politician has been convicted of corruption." Me: "I don't care, they are tough on smurfs." Interviewer: "There is nothing that would change your mind?" Me: "Only if they go back on their promise to get rid of the smurfs." Politician: "No more smurfs!"

      Never mind the politician is shagging a smurf as soon as the interview is over.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The sound of Perseverance

      I've been fighting with my boss for a month trying to convince him (yet again) that spamming is bad. He hired some new sales clown who has him convinced he "just send small batches" and get a "great response rate". They just won't take no for an answer. Not sure why they care so much about getting me to agree with them.

      They just can't accept "no" for an answer.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The sound of Perseverance

        "Not sure why they care so much about getting me to agree with them."

        Are you in charge of the outgoing spam filters? :-))

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The sound of Perseverance

          Technically, yes, but if they order me to allow sales clown to spam ultimately he'll be spamming. But I'm never going to tell them it's OK to do so.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The sound of Perseverance

            You should set up a new outbound relay for sales. All of sales. This way when its address gets blacklisted, you and the rest of the company, except for sales, will still be able to communicate with the rest of the world.

      2. ShadowSystems Silver badge

        At the AC, re: unable to take no for an answer.

        Next time they try, request their proposal be delivered in writing outlining in clear & unambiguous language *exactly* what it is they want. When you reply to the email/memo, be sure to CC everyone into the conversation, especially HR, Legal, & any boss/manager/supervisor immediately above the requester. Keep copies of the original & your reply.

        The next time they try to request the same (or essentially the same) crap, request it in writing again. Compare the previous with the current. Respond with that comparison, why it wouldn't work the first time, and that they should try harder to find a workable solution. Be sure to CC in the same folks as before, plus +1 level of authority. Retain records (printed out & stored off premises just in case) for later.

        Repeat the compare/contrast/smack upside the head/CC +1 level of authority routine every time they try to get it past you again. Eventually someone from HR, Legal, or management will either come down on the requesters to stop being dipshits, or they will try to come down on YOU for being obstructive. If the first, the issue should stop right quick. If the second, file a formal complaint with HR & Legal & the last level of Authority CC'd in, because you are now being punished for pointing out that stupid ideas that potentially open up the company to lawsuits & fines should be applauded rather than punished.

        But the retention of the physical paper trail is the part that can ultimately CYA. Because if the requesters try to get you thrown under the bus, you can use said paper trail to Judo-hip-check the bastard under instead & do it with their own words as the pivot point.

        *Hands you a tall tankard*

        Here's to paper trails. Saving asses since the dawn of time. =-)

      3. AVR

        Re: The sound of Perseverance

        I had a similar problem once - tracking down why our outgoing emails were being blocked from some recipients, I found that we'd been blocked as a spammer by IIRC hotmail and gmail. After tracking down the cause at our end it took a bit of work to convince Marketing that no, I couldn't stop them doing it and we needed to stop sending spam.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The sound of Perseverance

        Do they know they are breaking the law?

    5. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: The sound of Perseverance

      the most recent jargon I am aware of - which probably has been superseded -

      is

      Failure to learn

      Just keep using that term when describing these politicians, and they may change tack to avoid the embarrassment. Appeals to common sense are completely pointless.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: The sound of Perseverance

        The electorate is the worst sufferer of "failure to learn".

        1. Toni the terrible

          Re: The sound of Perseverance

          Not all the electorate, but those who do learn are buried

    6. iain666

      Re: The sound of Perseverance

      The Sound of Perseverance is still an awesome album though.

      1. El Bard
        Pint

        Re: The sound of Perseverance

        A pint to that

    7. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: The sound of Perseverance

      Doing the same thing over & over again in the same way (or essentially the same way) & expecting a different outcome is the sine of insanity. At least that's what the people in charge of my rubber room & straight jacket keep telling me. =-)p

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: The sound of Perseverance

        Doing the same thing over & over again in the same way (or essentially the same way) & expecting a different outcome is the sine of insanity.

        You mean it rises and falls in waves? Without wanting to go off on a tangent, that sounds a bit hyperbolic. An obsession with secs, perhaps?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The sound of Perseverance

          If you merge the cosine of insanity, will it cancel out?

    8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      Danger

      Data fetishists at work.

      NOTHING to do with the whol TOTC BS.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The sound of Perseverance

      > Interesting how perseverance is almost universally considered a positive trait, when it can as well (possibly even more often) be a sign of the utmost stupidity.

      Please do not ascribe to stupidity that which can be ascribed to malice.

      It's the European Commission were talking about here. It's not for nothing that the head whore was already known in Germany as Zensursula.

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    No need to autoscan billions of random images. Just subpoena the stepfather's phone/computer. That'll likely catch more than this nonsense ever would.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Or the second son of a monarch, or CEO of any large USA company, or TV/movie executive

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      There is a need.

      "No need to autoscan billions of random images."

      What happens if there is insufficient criminal images on the stepfather's phone? A cache of suitable images could come in quite handy at times.

  3. Cav Bronze badge

    Before everyone jumps all over me, I agree with the problems this poses but.. I dislike illogical arguments.

    "Ludvigsen, Nagaraja, and Daly argue that CSS can no more prevent the distribution of CSAM than antivirus scanning can prevent the distribution of malware."

    So we shouldn't have antivirus scanning or laws against murder etc, because they won't stop all instances? That's ridiculous.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Hashes attempt to detect known images.

      If you are doing this on people's phones you are presumably trying to identity new images from the phones camera

      How is the algorithm going to decide if a picture of a baby in the bath is child porn? Or distinguish a legal image of your 16year old wife from an illegal photo of a 17 year old ?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        If your wife is 16 years old I think you have a different problem.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          In Britain, and most of Europe, you can get married at the age which Americans are only allowed to buy a machine gun.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            No, actually in US many States have no minimum age for marriage. And any attempt to establish one failed.

            Still distributing images of a minor is unlawful...

            1. simkin

              Sure but what if it's an image of your own kid that you messengered to your wife?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                what perversion are you planning with your wife on your child?

            2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              >Still distributing images of a minor is unlawful...

              The point was that the UK (and much of europe) have a bizarre feature where the age of consent/marriage is 16 but child porn laws are imported from America and use 18

              So taking a picture of your wife breastfeeding would be child porn.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                "The point was that the UK (and much of europe) have a bizarre feature where the age of consent/marriage is 16 but child porn laws are imported from America and use 18"

                It's 18 in the UK now. Until recently, it was 16 but only with parental consent.

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  >It's 18 in the UK now. Until recently, it was 16

                  Is that still age of consent?

                  I remember when the gay consent age was going to be lowered from 21 to 18 and there was a pride campaign against, quite naturally, demanding equality.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Yes, you can legally have pre-marital sex from age 16, but if you get her pregnant, you can't get married until 18 without a trip to Gretna Green as mentioned by another poster ;-)

                    It's unclear whether a marriage in Scotland between English residents under the age of 18 is recognised under English law. I don't think it's been tested yet

                  2. NeilPost Silver badge

                    It was reduced/made consistent to 16… however Peter Tatchell - a prominent Gay Rights advocate - on the day but changed caused mass outrage by immediately petitioning for the age of consent to be reduced to 14.

                    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/sep/24/sex-under-16-underage

                2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

                  It's 18 in England and Wales, but still 16 in Scotland. So hey ho for Gretna Green, again.

                  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge
                    Coat

                    To be fair with Scottish life expectancy, 16 is middle aged

                  2. mrmond

                    The legal age is going to be raised to 18 in a new law but as of now it is STILL 16 if you have parental consent unless Gov.UK are really lazy and slow updating.

                    I married my wife 3 weeks before her 18th birthday (I was 22) and needed parental consent when we applied for the marriage license 3 months before.

                    That was 33 years ago and still together, 3 grownup kids and 3 grandchildren. Not all teen marriages are failures.

                  3. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    So in the UK, you can have sex at 16, but can't watch films of other people having sex until 18?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      I think you can /watch/ them, though it would need to be on a video as you can't get into a cinema with an R18, but you can't star /in/ the film until you are 18.

                      This is pretty much academic to me though as being 18 was so long ago I can't remember it.

                      1. Stork Silver badge

                        Same in DK, only age of consent is 15

                3. NeilPost Silver badge

                  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-61228240

                  Just England and Wales….. but affecting everyone where the actual target was arranged/forced marriages in certain Ethnic Communities.

                  The Blacksmith’s Shop in Gretna Green is again the place for young English/Welsh lovers to run away too.

                  Unsure how a legal marriage in Scotland/Northern Ireland would be viewed in England/Wales.

                  So you can shag (in any way you want) a 16 year old…. but not take a picture/video of it and not marry them until they are 18… (or drive a car until age 17)

                  Aligning all 3 (or 4) at a consistent age - across all of the U.K. Home Nations - seems reasonable to me. Esp. as most global organisations view ‘a child’ is anyone under 18 - inc UN declaration on the Rights of the Child.

              2. Splurg The Barbarian

                Not true. While having a picture of a.child ie someone who "is or appears to under 18 to any reasonable person" is illlegal in the UK there are some exceptions, in that if the picture depicts someone that is in a relationship with you can be alloowed. However distribution of that would fall foul of a couple of laws.

                A picture of a.16-17 year old breastfeeding & in possession of a relativve or partner would not be indecent images of a child. Its not a sexually posed image, nor is it focusing on intimate body paprts but merely the feeding of a child.

                Also we did not import them from the US, we signed up to the UN convention of the rights of a child of which Article 1 states that "For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of 18 years

                unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier." The Uk signed up to this in 1990. & it cane into force in 1992.

                1. Maventi

                  Well of course, but try explaining all of that to the algorithm scanning your device.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Why is it any of anyones business scanning a 17 year olds phone looking for pictures of their 16 year old girlfriend or boyfriend?

                  It is not.

                  Why should their devices spy on them?

                  I would even go so far to so say, that a 14 year old sexting her/his 14 year old GF/BF is none of their business either. I do not think they are making the world a better place by arresting kids doing what their hormones tell them to do, or by letting some spotty bloke review their media in secret, no matter how "professionally trained" he claims to be, or how he's doing it "for their safety".

                  Likewise the message scanning that was proposed, as if their speech should be reviewed for *their* safety. So spotty bloke's opinion of their words trumps theirs.

                  No. Why should they have to watch their words, knowing remote creep is watching?

                  People's private data is their private data, especially childrens private data.

                3. JimmyPage
                  Stop

                  we signed up to the UN convention of the rights of a child

                  The UKs lackadaisical approach to international treaties makes that meaningless.

                  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                    Re: we signed up to the UN convention of the rights of a child

                    As long as it doesn't stop British 'children' joining the army at 16

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                This is why

                The laws in certain countries suck, need to be amended to include common sense and generally people who come up with them need to take a reality check.

                Criminalizing normal human behavior is part of the problem.

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        What apple proposed didn’t need to decide. Before uploading a picture onto iCloud (Apples servers, so they have a right not to want some images on there), your phone would scan an image and say it looks dodgy. It tells you and shows you the image, then you decide whether to upload (because it’s harmless), or whether to upload (because you don’t care it’s illegal), or not to upload (because it’s illegal and you don’t want it outside your phone), or to delete it (because it’s dodgy, you have no idea how it got on your phone, and you don’t want it).

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          That's now how Apple's system works

          "It tells you and shows you the image"

          No, it rejects the image upload, applies secret "points" against your license to upload, and if you go over the allowed number of points then it locks your phone and reports you to the authorities.

      3. Alumoi Silver badge

        Oh, easy! Is the target a political opponent or journalist? Then it's child porn.

        1. simkin

          Unless it's on Hunter Biden's laptop. Then it's Russian propaganda.

      4. gratou

        No you're not.. You're trying to see if they have known material.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, obviously it could not detect *new* abuse using a hash of prior known old images, so instead it would have to extrapolate from prior images. i.e. they'll have to extend it with AI, to model a *class* of images to be able to meet their stated aim here, otherwise it could never work.

        And how would you process video? Presumably most media people take these days is video. So its gonna have to be extended to cover video too. Fuzzier.

        Flagged media would have to be reviewed by people. For review, you'd have to send the files off for remote review to a human, to check, (because its a fuzzy imperfect algo). So your data is no longer yours, hi-viz stalker gets remote access to the files.

        Can you imagine your devices scanning your media, scanning your kids devices, sending them off to a bloke in a darkened office, who likes his job reviewing peoples private media. A stalker in a hi-viz jacket, free to browse private data, tap tap tap, reading friends messages, tap tap tap, review location data, no legal protections from said stalkers, and nobody free from their surveillance?

        And no doubt the laws will get the usual "security" exception, as they all do and will lose its "for the children" veil.

        Would the above happen? Well of course it would. You've established the surveillance principle, and undermined the privacy right, that was the only thing protecting people from a surveillance state. They had a stated aim, which required they extend the surveillance in order for it to work. It seems to be the whole point of this effort. And show me a privacy right that doesn't have the "security" exception to undermine it.

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Well actually

          They already have the private data, illegally. Or maybe it was legal for some purposes, but not for other purposes, but never mind the purpose they just took it all willy nilly. And continue to do so at every opportunity, even after (rarely) the courts slap them down and tell them to stop.

          The whole point of the proposed legislation is to legalize what they have already done and continue to do. Open the floodgates, as it were. They will keep banging away at it until they succeed. "Here again are the reasons why scanning devices for unlawful files is not going to fly", followed by "New (rehashed) proposal to scan devices", forever and ever in an endless loop, until one day it does fly.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Stop

      You're making false equivalences. People choose to install anti-virus software, it isn't perfect and it doesn't automatically report them to the police.

      Detecting undefined pornographic images is much, much harder. Videos are orders of magnitude more difficult and it's all easier to fuzz.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Malware delivery workers all install AV software to make sure their deliveries can pass through, so the child porn folks would probably install the software to get their images through it. We're all running around saying "this is good" and "this is bad" but nothing's going to change in the world until we admit that humans have the ability to be stupid.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You have that wrong.

      With laws about murder, the sequence goes 1) a murder occurs, 2) a suspect is arrested and put on trial, 3) the suspect is treated as innocent until convicted, 4) punishment is administered, 5) murderer is a lifelong social outcast.

      With CSS the sequence is 1) a suspect is arrested and put on trial, 2) they become a social outcast, 3) the suspect is treated as guilty until proved innocent, 4) they are obliged to prove that no offence has occurred, 5) some punishment has already been administerrd regardless of whether or not an offence actually occurred.

      You mess around with the rule of law at one's peril.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        And in practice, with laws about murder the sequence goes: 1) a murder occurs, 2) a suspect is arrested and put on trial, 3) the suspect is treated as the new all-in-one Hitler, Stalin and Attila by the media until he's proven innocent, 4) his life is ruined, but at least he had a fair trail, 5) former suspect is a lifelong social outcast.

        Oh, wait, that's how CSS works!

      2. NeilPost Silver badge

        I’d argue with point 3) as (for many alleged crimes… not just murder) often the suspect is viewed as a danger or a flight risk so put into jail ‘on remand’.

        If they are innocent.. their life is effectively destroyed by implication, loss of job, loss of income.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remand_(detention)

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

          unfortunately it doesn't apply to politicians...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which politicians are involved in this?

    The only name I've heard connected to this is Ursula von der Leyen, who argued against getting involved over Crimea. Who else is trying to degrade Europe's cyber security at a time when Russian cyber threats are exceptionally high?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Which politicians are involved in this?

      Well Ursula is Latin for bear - so obviously she is a Russian spy.

      Do you think Boris should have chosen a less obvious code name?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which politicians are involved in this?

      Ursula Von Der Leyen, who also ran down Germany's military into the ground, aided and abetted by Mutti Merkel, whose entire chancellorship is now regarded as a let's-ignore-the-harsh-realities fantasy. Utterly disastrous for Germany and all Europe...

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Which politicians are involved in this?

        20-20 hindsight?

        Heard of the Russian Laundromat?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Which politicians are involved in this?

          Well, not hindsight for everyone.

          There were those who saw German soldiers turning up to NATO exercises equipped with nothing more warlike than brooms and thought, "This doesn't look good", an equipment shortfall attributed to UvdL.

          1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Which politicians are involved in this?

            If the brooms were provided by Lockheed Martin, then I understand your concerns...

            But I heard they will get a newer version in a few years.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. m4r35n357

    It will happen . . .

    Try explaining to Boris/Priti exactly how this is a bad idea, and see how far it gets you!

    1. John Riddoch

      Re: It will happen . . .

      That's fairly easy. "This is an EU initiative, but Brexit allows us to avoid this onerous red tape".

      1. m4r35n357

        Re: It will happen . . .

        Good effort! However . . .

        I think they are more likely to just not mention the EU aspect. This is something they _want_.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: It will happen . . .

          Except they are going to play down the child bit, it will be scanning images on your phone to spot immigrants

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It will happen . . .

          Good effort! However . . .

          I think they are more likely to just not mention the EU aspect. This is something they _want_.

          At least in the UK we've got the opportunity to boot out any politicians that decide to impose laws which violate our privacy. Good luck trying to do the same under the authority of the EU.

          1. elaar

            Re: It will happen . . .

            "At least in the UK we've got the opportunity to boot out any politicians that decide to impose laws which violate our privacy."

            If by "boot out" you mean to not vote for again (up to) 5 years later.. And realistically, there's little chance of that happening because most voters don't seem to comprehend assaults on privacy. Generally I would have a lot more faith in the EU protecting our privacy than the Tories.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: It will happen . . .

              > Generally I would have a lot more faith in the EU protecting our privacy than the Tories.

              The last time we had a non Tory government they tried to do something similar and the Tory opposition opposed it. It seems like all parties oppose this sort of thing when they are in the opposition and crave infinite snooping powers when they are in power. On this particular occasion its the EU wanting to do. You're probably right that next week it will be the UK government, but that is just as likely to be the case which ever side happens to be in power at the time. It seems that all politicians believe that there is some magic IT fairy dust that can be sprinkled over any device or data that will do which ever magic they want this week.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: It will happen . . .

              Generally I would have a lot more faith in the EU protecting our privacy than the Tories.

              Once again, you miss the point. The Tory government is not perpetual. They can be voted out. EU wide strategies, on the other hand, are a lot more difficult to change.

              Take the European digital ID that's about to be implemented...

              Every time an App or website asks us to create a new digital identity or to easily log on via a big platform, we have no idea what happens to our data in reality. That is why the Commission will propose a secure European e-identity. One that we trust and that any citizen can use anywhere in Europe to do anything from paying your taxes to renting a bicycle. A technology where we can control ourselves what data is used and how.

              https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/european-digital-identity_en

              Part of the problem is that the EDI will be used not only for government services, but also for banking, online retail, and social media, so many stakeholders will have the power to set policies to verify certain attributes. Today, individuals must be checked for coronavirus in order to cross a border; tomorrow, critics argue, your EDI might prevent you from using the metro at rush hour because you are unemployed. That attribute—being unemployed—could be required to collect social benefits, but a policy based on that attribute grows highly questionable.

              https://cacm.acm.org/news/259696-europeans-wary-of-new-digital-identity/fulltext

          2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: It will happen . . .

            So The Clown is leaving, finally, after all scandals?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It will happen . . .

        "It can be tweaked to include pictures of crimes - such as photos of parties during lockdown"

  6. b0llchit Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Wrong question answered

    It is not about the kiddie porn or terrorists. It is all about getting access to the client side of the devices. Having the foot in there means the ability to bypass any and all encryption. Any agency will queue when access to the device is available. That is the point.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Wrong question answered

      All the data on an iPhone is accessible. Once the user entered the passcode. I can attach a photo from my photo library to an email. And send it. How is that working if my phone can’t read the photo? So this argument of “getting a foot in” is pointless. Data that my phone can’t read is useless.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Wrong question answered

        The 'foot in' is having a button in ACPO's secret lair that let's them also access everything on your phone - in case you are the sort of potential criminal that doesn't love the Police enough

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Wrong question answered

        Read up on what "encryption" is.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wrong question answered

        But you are choosing to send that photo to someone you presumably know.

        This is where "they" - complete stranger(s) are looking at the contents of your phone, without your knowledge or consent - and then telling on you if they don't like what they find.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Wrong question answered

      And the feature-creep. Remember when ISP-level network blocking was only for CSAM sites? Then it was re-used for copyright enforcement? Then for anti-terror?

      What next we wonder...disputed elections? Corrupt politicians martial being exposed?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Wrong question answered

        Or local authorities using anti-terrorist laws to track dog crap and fly tipping

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Wrong question answered

          and declaring Icelandic banks as terrorist groups.

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Megaphone

    From Sir Humphrey's Playbook

    Given the slew of consistent judgements from all over Europe against preventive action, I think those involved know that this policy has no chance of being enacted. It's all about making the right kind of noises and then finding someone else to blame, increasingly the courts.

    1. unimaginative Bronze badge
      Devil

      Re: From Sir Humphrey's Playbook

      The article says its a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights so the European Court of Human Rights should rule against it.

      However, the EU can amend EU law (and even constitutional treaties if necessary) so its possible that at some point the European Court of Justice will allow it. What happens then?

      This is the problem with conflating the EU with the continent of Europe. The Council of Europe (which the ECHR is part of) adds a separate layer of confusion (especially as two of its members have a lot of territory outside Europe). It also uses (and originated) the same flag as the EU.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: From Sir Humphrey's Playbook

        "The Council of Europe ... also uses (and originated) the same flag as the EU."

        Indeed! This is why the Gov's nationalistic attempt to effectively ban the flying of EU flags* has failed.** As such, I'm flying one all weeked to celebrate our ongoing membership of the Council (of which HRH appears to be a fan).

        *See here: "Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the flag of the European Union is no longer included in the list of flags that do not require [planning] consent."

        **"The full list of flags that do not require consent [includes] ... The flag of the Commonwealth, the United Nations or any other international organisation of which the United Kingdom is a member." i.e., including the Council of Europe. D'Oh!

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: From Sir Humphrey's Playbook

        You can never rule out future changes to any law. However, the hurdles here are, as you point out, pretty high: a change like this would require unanimity amongst EU members. And, as things stand, would have to be vetoed by Germany at least where the constitutional court has already stated that it's unconstitutional and thus Germany would not be able to ratify the law.

        Getting the ECHR amended would be even harder…

  8. LDS Silver badge

    And when they catch them, what they do?

    Get a slap on their wrist, especially when they are rich, famous, or both? I wonder how many of Apple or Google executives will have that software actually running. And I can imagine a lot of "exceptions" for "special persons".

    This while influencers aim at teenagers and even younger people teaching them how to become idiots (so they can be better exploited), and social media pretend to control the age of their profiles.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Porn's effect on real life

    Maybe people will hate me for saying this, but this is based on impressions I get.

    Doing stuff with 'porn' reduces ability to do 'x stuff' in real life.

    So perhaps if you want people to do less 'x stuff' in real life with minors, give them 'porn' with minors.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Porn's effect on real life

      Not hate, but exasperation. You haven't thought it through. "give them 'porn' with minors." -.> you are taking a picture of a crime.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Porn's effect on real life

        The picture is proof of the crime. The crime is the crime. The picture can provide evidence to convict those that do this. That's where scanning new pictures can help, but afterwords, if the people in the picture don't mind... it shouldn't matter who has it.

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: Porn's effect on real life

          "if the people in the picture don't mind"

          Ugh. I think it's safe to say the victim does mind. Especially since the victimization and the picture-taking of it are the whole point of the crime. But keep posting, I can learn to hate you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Porn's effect on real life

            "I think it's safe to say the victim does mind"

            I was about to say something like that, although there might some cases...

            The 'victim' should probably have a/the say in what to do about it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Porn's effect on real life

              Ok... let's take this and extend upon it...

              ONLY if the 'victim(s)' is(are) ok with, and given approval to the following idea, etc...

              Require the 'perpetrator' to have up a bunch of posters of them doing the crimes, where they are staying(prison/jail) [ some stuff blurred out to make it less traumatizing ]. With link(s) to report any crimes the person might be engaged in.

              Nothing says I've done ___, more than a picture of them doing ___. This could warn future 'victims' the 'perpetrators' might have had, and the way(s) to report crimes might stop the 'perpetrators' from doing more than they would have otherwise.

              Although, I suppose this could backfire, and might increase the chances of these 'perpetrators' ganging up, and/or more easily retaliate against the 'victim'(, as well as something else.?)

              (stuff put in quotes, because different perspectives may use different terms for these)

        2. BobTheIntern

          Re: Porn's effect on real life

          Allowing a legal market for kiddie smut in any form incentivises perverts to risk creating more of it for profit motives beyond their existing sick compulsions. Setting aside for the moment the idea of the minor(s) in a given pornographic image not "minding" (with great difficulty), the poor kids depicted in subsequent batches of child porn will certainly mind!

          But it's not as if the monsters creating this filth are out there asking for consent in the first place, are they? The Squick Factor of your thinking on this is off the charts.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Porn's effect on real life

            Make it illegal buy, sale, trade, or make a profit from this stuff.

      2. unimaginative Bronze badge

        Re: Porn's effect on real life

        What about faked child porn? With CGI and deepfakes I would guess its quite easy.

        I cannot imagine much public support for legalizing it, even if the the safety valve argument is true and outweighs the risk of encouraging people to develop a taste for it - there is plenty of evidence that people copy behaviour from porn.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Porn's effect on real life

        Porn with morris minors? Now yer talkin!

        Is that a trafficator vicar, or are you glad to see me?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Porn's effect on real life

      Will you hate us for pointing out the problems of anecdotal evidence? While some people may, indeed consume stuff in porn that they would never do in real life. For example, some studies have suggested that female crime readers and writers indulge in violent fantasies that they would very much never want to be involved in.

      However, this does not hold true for all and what might be a "pressure valve" for some, may just be encouragement for others. Furthermore, there is evidence suggesting that pornography "normalises" pornographic sex, setting up unrealistic expectations on bodies, sexual preferences, prowess and violence that can cause problems, particularly for adolescents. I don't think that gives the basis for mass surveillance or blanket-banning but, with all due respect for the freedom of the individual, I also don't think it means "anything goes"™.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Porn's effect on real life

        I've read that a lot of wives leave their husbands because their husbands are addicted to porn, and this porn reduces their ability to do that stuff in real life.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Porn's effect on real life

          You read it, so it must be true?

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Porn's effect on real life

          What stuff?

          Some people like to see their fantasies acted out in porn. Or they have affairs, or go to sex workers to get "what they can't get at home". But, really, they should just learn to talk to their partner.

      2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Porn's effect on real life

        "For example, some studies have suggested that female crime readers and writers indulge in violent fantasies that they would very much never want to be involved in."

        Then again there is Nancy Crampton-Brophy who wrote "How to Murder Your Husband" and then ...

        Okay that example doesn't contradict anything else you wrote, if anything it confirms it.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Porn's effect on real life

          There was an interesting article a few years ago in The Economist's largely odious* sister publication, 1843, about fan fiction. It compared and contrasted gay and female fan fiction about Star Trek: very physical in gay, very much about "the gaze" in female. This is interesting because it very much is about indulging fantasies and "the realm of the symbolic" to get post-structuralist about this!

          * I used to get it for free but asked them to stop sending me such odes (sic) to conspicuous consumption. Not quite a list of the best restaurants for over € 1000 a head mixed with ads for what to wear, but getting close. Pity, because amongst all the lifestyle crap there are good articles.

      3. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

        Re: Porn's effect on real life

        Whether that is true or not makes no difference. Alcohol does significant damage to some peoples lives and the lives of others. Violence, anti-social behavior, drunk driving, etc. These factors were the primary drivers that pushed America into Prohibition and we all know what a disaster that was. Laws that punish everyone for the behavior of a few are never right nor effective. Just like drugs and alcohol, pornography can have a serious detrimental effect on some people, but others are not adversely affected by it. Legalizing the production of pornography in places like California has lowered the forced exploitation of women into the business. That's a good thing.

        Children and adolescents should never be exposed to it! Just like they should never be exposed to alternative sexual lifestyles like homosexuality and transgenderism, yet we have people actively pushing for this in schools.

        Do I want "sex shops" in my neighborhood? No, but that is what zoning laws are for.

        Nothing gives the state the right to trample the rights of people with the excuse that "it may stop some individual from committing a crime!" If you give them a little they will take a lot.

        Those who would give up their liberty for security deserve neither!

        1. Toni the terrible

          Re: Porn's effect on real life

          Homosexuality / transgenerisim is not a "lifestyle" for most it is unavoidable consequence of their genitics and upbringing. Not allowing children to know of it just encourages abuse of the LGBT+ when they do find out, I mean have you not heard children bullying others with that as an excuse?

          it's like not allowing children sex education and then wondering what the 'epidemic' of child mothers is about.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have I mentioned in the past....................

    ........that PRIVATE ENCRYPTION BEFORE ANYTHING ENTERS A PUBLIC CHANNEL.........will defeat all and any attempt to snoop by third parties?

    *

    So......the alleged abusers only need to encrypt their images (say three passes) using a hard to crack algorithm (say AES or chacha20 with a 8192 bit key)....and all this debate about CSAM (or about any other potentially illegal communication)....all this debate is MOOT!

    *

    Suggestions:

    1. Tool up with gcc, gdb and gmp

    2. Read up on Diffie/Hellman (see "Applied Cryptography" by Bruce Schneier)

    3. Make all this discussion COMPLETELY MOOT!

    ....there.....some privacy at last!!

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Have I mentioned in the past....................

      You have indeed mentioned this in the past, and sometimes when you do, you're missing the point. Like now.

      This article is about client-side scanning. The key words here are "client-side". Therefore, the data doesn't have to enter a public channel, because the scanning occurs before you transmit and even if you didn't intend to do so. Encryption on the communication is unrelated. Encryption on the device is what this is designed to get around, and if they implemented it in the way that Apple was going to, it would work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have I mentioned in the past....................

        @doublelayer

        Quote: "...the scanning occurs before you transmit..."

        1. Photo taken with an (old fashioned) digital camera

        2. Image is moved to a laptop or workstation (air gapped, of course)

        3. Image is encrypted

        4. Image is moved to an online device

        5. Image is transmitted

        ....and so....when "the scanning occurs before you transmit".......all my comments apply as written.

        ....as usual, it's the assumptions that make the comments MOOT! ...and as usual, the assumptions are about smart phones.....some of us use other types of equipment.......

        P.S. All of the above also applies to ANY type of message. Privacy is something that people can do for themselves....with private encryption!!

        1. alisonken1

          Re: Have I mentioned in the past....................

          I think the problem you missed:

          ....

          2. Image is moved to a laptop or workstation (air gapped, of course)

          2.a. CSAM fingerprints image

          2.b. CSAM adds metadata to image ( can someone say steganography )

          3. Image is encrypted

          ...

          Remember, you have to update your computer sometime - and even air-gapped, you still have to download the updates from somewhere.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Have I mentioned in the past....................

            This is a ridiculous comment. You think the CASM software will magically appear on everything that's ever existed/will exist? It won't. There will be a billion OS distros without it that you can encrypt your data on safely.

            Nothing was missed you simply don't understand what you're trying to 'gotcha'.

  11. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Devil

    Wrong approach

    the right approach is to demand scanning of every device at the end of the day looking for anything that can be used against you.

    If found the cameras/mics are switched on to record you doing anything, and then all that evidence is used to jail you.

    Because after all.... the cameras/mics would not be switched on unless you were already being bad.....

    And as the old saying goes "those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear"

    Whats this 'satire' tag do?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wrong approach

      @Boris_the_Cockroach

      .....as I mentioned before, if the messaging is privately encrypted......

      .....how would anyone actually know that a snooped message "can be used against you"?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Wrong approach

        >.....how would anyone actually know that a snooped message "can be used against you"?

        If you have an encrypted message you are either a terrorist (if skin brown) or a child pornographer (if skin white )

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wrong approach

          @Yet_Another_Anonymous_coward

          Quote: "...If you have an encrypted message..."

          ......so banks are all run by terrorists? Credit card companies are run by terrorists? Proton Mail is only used by terrorists? WhatsApp is only used by terrorists?

          ......perhaps you might like to edit your comment?

          1. Alumoi Silver badge

            Re: Wrong approach

            I don't know about Proton Mail but you nailed it for the others.

          2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

            Re: Wrong approach

            given the number of banks involved in financing terrorism activities...

            encryption at any level is suspicious

        2. Toni the terrible

          Re: Wrong approach

          Also, what is leagal in one country or under one regime may not be leagal in another. Delete youe History and Cache, if that will help...

  12. FuzzyTheBear

    And then there's the law enforcement side.

    They got a surveillance centre here in Canada , Quebec in particular where they track the images , the material , they know how has it , they know what's being exchanged they know this for not only local material but who it's exchanged with worldwide.

    The net is there.

    Asked why so few were ever arrested the answer was simple : they do not have enough resources to act but on a fraction of a percentage point

    of all the known cases.

    You can have all the tools you want , if there's noone to use them , use them to enforce the laws they are utterly useless.

    Political pressure and changing governments may help but for today thousands are exchanging the material and exploiting children.

    This has got to change.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: And then there's the law enforcement side.

      "utterly useless"

      If everything you wrote is true, this only proves that, when law enforcement says they need these tools to stop child pornographers, they are _lying_. Give them the tools to gather information, they use the tools to gather information, and then they don't use the information for the stated purpose. This per your example.

      Okay cool, give them more privacy-busting tools, more information, more more more. Guess what, they will _never_ use it to prosecute the child pornographers. Because if they would, then they would have already. As for why they do not / will not use it to prosecute the child pornographers, I can only guess, but let me say all my guesses reflect very poorly on the individuals in law enforcement.

      1. David Hicklin

        Re: And then there's the law enforcement side.

        You missed the next step....

        Upon detection and AI run trial will take place, pass the sentence and then you have x days to report to a jail of your choice.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: And then there's the law enforcement side.

          easier and faster to have the AI order a surgical strike on your location

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: And then there's the law enforcement side.

      If you've ever followed any trials related to the distribution and consumption of obscene material you'll understand what kind of resources are missing: it's almost always in bringing things to trial and seeing them through. Pressure is routinely applied to get success rates up which almost invariably means spending less time on crimes which require more time to gather evidence, etc. Without wishing to seem to be equating the crimes, this is also true of financial crime like fraud and tax evasion. But one of the biggest problems in both situations is "following the money" through the inevitable ring of shell companies.

      But saying something must be done is only going to suit populists and their bags of "easy" solutions".

  13. Detective Emil
    Headmaster

    About Apple's proposal

    Apple's scheme [PDF] took care to address many of the issues raised by other posters. In particular, it was designed to have no impact on any aspect of end-to-end encryption. However, its Achilles heel/Trojan horse was that it flagged only images matching a pre-cooked list of hashes of CSAM image hashes provided by some external agency. The independence of any such an agency would be open to question: hashes for anything considered unacceptable for any reason could potentially be crowbarred in by authorities. A review, before alerting the authorities, by (unfortunate) Apple personnel of the images causing the threshold to be exceeded on a particular device, was proposed as a backstop. But nevertheless … Apple has in the past deferred to authorities in a variety of markets in a variety of situations.

    As for the on-device detection of nudity in photos a child's about to share or receive, that's already there in Anglo-Saxon-type markets only (if enabled by a parent who has got around to setting up a family group).

  14. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Social Credit Score

    This is a part of much bigger plan. How are they going to determine your social credit score without any data points?

    Once they know what you think, they'll be able to classify you and give or take points. Thinking outside of the box too much? -100 points, travel ban for a month.

    I remember being heavily downvoted as a conspiracy theorist saying this is going to happen. Here we go again.

  15. Manolo
    Big Brother

    1984

    You may still argue Brexit happened for the wrong reasons, but I am still convinced in the long run it is for the better. This kind of Orwellian crap is a prime example why.

    1. elaar

      Re: 1984

      It will likely never happen though.

      Remember, the Tories are still hell-bent on banning end-to-end encryption, ensuring government agencies can spy on us without court orders. Our police force can demand our passwords with barely any evidence of a crime, so it's not like we'll suffer any less from this Orwellian crap being out of the EU.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: 1984

      WTF does Brexshit have to do with this?

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: 1984

        perhaps because now that the EU has made this proposal, the BJ gang will try to enact it as soon as possible to be able to claim that because of Brexit the UK is far ahead of the EU in the fight against crimes?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I missing something?

    Why don't those pointing out the issues with this ask those in favour if they'd be happy to have the government install cameras to cover every corner of their homes? You know, so they can monitor for *just* highly illegal activities?

    To me, this seems a legitimate comparison that I'd hope most most reasonable people would balk at; it might open eyes to the abuse and danger that those in favour of this seem to be welcoming.

    Am I missing something that makes this an apples to oranges comparison? Or is it just that most people don't appreciate that the data on their devices is equally as personal and private as what goes on in their home?

    1. Ythermos

      Re: Am I missing something?

      Because they'll be on the special exemptions list, or course. These laws are for you and me, not for them

  17. Danny 5

    Sigh

    Really, we're back here again? We've been going around in circles for years now, can we please stop these shenanigans and move on please? I'm all for protecting the most fragile in our society, but at some point you have to accept that some "solutions" are just not feasible.

    1. David Hicklin

      Re: Sigh

      Yup, as has been pointed out many times before, the book 1984 was a warning but too many politicians are still using it as an instruction manual

  18. Fursty Ferret

    Already here on Mac OS

    Try (hypothetically) downloading an MKV via BitTorrent and then copying it to an external drive - you'll find it mysteriously and randomly corrupted.

  19. Boolian

    Good Gear

    Is the proposed image scanning software better than Facebook's AI? That's a lot of false positives to contend with.

    Is the dispute resolution centre as accessible as Google's AI? That's a lot of non-response to contend with.

    "Oh noes, that is scary! This why we can't have nice things, it's the fault of *insert criminality here* - there's one now! Get him!

    This proposed, foolproof system, must be really good gear to avoid false accusations, but it isn't; what it is and always has been, is vaporware.

    Criminality is whatever and whomsoever a Government says it is (and in the UK even ex post facto if they so desire) Everyone is already a criminal.

    Today, the height of sartorial elegance - tomorrow wearing a loud shirt in a built up area - do not pass go.

    A Government requires no evidence to put you away, or destroy you, barely even a pretence. They have no need for any surveillance software. Whatever is being proposed is just a toy, it is to toy with minds.

    It isn't the physical implementation of vaporware they are interested in, they have already implemented the 'system'

    The system is to remind the populace they are always under surveillance and to periodocally threaten the populace with deeper surveillance because 'We know you have something to hide, everyone has something to hide, we make sure of that. We might do a roundup next week...'

    It's the threat which makes the populace jittery, it puts the policeman in everyone's head, it reminds the populace who has the power - the threat to wield is as effective as the wielding.

    That's why this is a perennial story. The more you don't want caught in a potential dragnet tomorrow, the more likely you are to grass up your neighbour, root out the subversives, anything to shift focus from your own fear and guilt

    This system has been implemeted by many regimes and religions well before 'Cyberspace' was a thing.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Good Gear

      There is no such thing as a false positive, there are only images that don't fall YET into a category prohibited by law...

  20. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    It's not the kiddie porn aspect which worries me - that's just an acceptable thin end of the surveillance wedge. Once it's establish that devices can scan for illegal content, the possibilities are boundless. The Chinese government would love to know if you have a copy of the picture of the young man and the tank. The British government would love to know if you have a copy of The Anarchist's Cookbook. The German government would love to know if you have a copy of Mein Kampf. The Hungarian government would love to know if you have anything written in Romani. The Iranian government would love to know if you have anything written in Romani. And so on.

    1. Conundrum1885

      Re. Anarchists

      Thats easy, I had that on 3 1/2" floppy back in the day.

      Also a collection of downloaded short stories, any number of random Usenet archives, saved web pages, etc.

      Just having the material means nothing without intent.

      It is interesting to note that as yet, the very limited situations where the written word is "illegal" are under exceptional circumstances like works of literature dealing with controversial subjects.

      It should also be noted that a few years back, it was revealed that the UK Government collected extensive files on folks interested in UFOs, and that information itself was deemed to be classified.

      It later emerged that a number of them were actual agents of HM Government investigating said claims as part of their employment. So the agents were in fact observing each other's actions while being unaware that they themselves were being observed. Sound Orwellian yet?

  21. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

    If you have nothing to hide!

    Here we go again! Soon some bureaucrat will use the same tired old argument! "If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear!"

    This just shows the laziness of our government officials and elected leaders! They can't come up with ways to solve complex issues so they result to trampling on the rights of all their citizens! It's the same approach used towards crime and violence. Instead of using methods that work, methods that have proven to work lets just trample the rights of law abiding citizens with gun control legislation that will have no real effect on crime! NYC in the 70's and 80's was a very violent place, in the 90's it was not! Why? Stop and Frisk! But people called that method racist! It wasn't racist at all, when you take into account the 90% of the gun violence was committed by young black men, well, common sense tells you those are the primary people you should 'stop and frisk!", it worked. The same holds true for child exploitation, trampling the privacy of everyday law abiding citizens will not stop this crime, only real, effective police work will.

    It also is ironic that these people claiming to care about child exploitation are the same people who support grooming kids with homosexuality and transgenderism in schools! So I'm sorry I don't buy into their concern! This is just another method to increase the surveillance state so they can root out their political enemies!

    The New World Fascist Order is coming, either resist it or be subjugated to it! The choice is yours!

    1. Toni the terrible

      Re: If you have nothing to hide!

      Conspiracy Theorist Much?

      Grooming or is it teaching what is out there, if you don't know you don't have to take care cos you can't. Fear the other, they are always after YOU!

      BYB we all have something to hide, normally it is not unlawful but it may become so in time.

  22. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Relax guys, you’re all guilty of something

    We just need some time to work out what it is.

    - Big Brother loves you

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why stop at child porn?

    Isn't murder/killing worse than porn? How about scanning for that too?

    List of things to scan for can get to be long... jaywalking, running a red light, cursing, bleeding, speeding, nudity, ...

    p.s. Have fun on Halloween with your camera.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why stop at child porn?

      All this scanning will make it scary to take pictures.

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