According to a leaked document, Spain is in favor of a ban on encryption of the correspondence of residents of the European Union. The published document indicates the strong support of the EU countries for the initiative to scan citizens' private messages for illegal content.
The document, which is a survey of the European Council on the views of member states on the regulation of encryption, reflects the views of officials on the creation of a law aimed at combating the spread of child pornography in Europe (CSAM).
The proposed law would require tech companies to scan their platforms, including users' private messages, for illegal content. However, EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson's proposal has caused outrage among cryptographers, technologists and privacy advocates due to the possible impact on the privacy of correspondence.
Spain took the most radical position in the paper, stating that it would ideally be desirable to legally prohibit service providers in the EU from using end-to-end encryption (E2EE) correspondence. However, experts expressed concerns about this approach, noting that breaking encryption for all would not only be disproportionate, but also ineffective in achieving the goal of protecting children.
Most of the 20 EU countries support the scanning of encrypted messages, and several countries, including Denmark and Ireland, also support the inclusion of language in the law that protects the confidentiality of correspondence from weakening. The Netherlands considers it possible to scan on the device before encryption and sending illegal material.
Despite the potential attack on encryption by some countries, many countries have also come out in support of the confidentiality of correspondence and the privacy it provides. Thus, Italy describes the proposal for a new system as disproportionate. Germany demanded that the draft law explicitly state that technologies that break, bypass or change encryption will not be used.
All of these disagreements are indicative of the complexity and importance of discussions about encryption regulation in the EU. EU countries must agree on the text of the bill before negotiations continue.