This proposal aims at eliminating existing barriers to the provision of relevant services within the Digital Single Market and preventing the emergence of additional barriers, while allowing for an effective fight against online child sexual abuse in full respect of the fundamental rights under EU law of all parties affected. To achieve this objective, the proposal introduces narrowly targeted and uniform obligations of risk assessment and mitigation, complemented where necessary by orders for detection, reporting and removal of child sexual abuse content. These obligations are applicable to relevant providers offering services on the Digital Single Market regardless of where they have their principal establishment. The obligations of this Regulation do not apply to providers of hosting services that do not offer their services in the Union. However, such services may still be used to disseminate child sexual abuse material to or by users in the Union, causing harm to children and society at large, even if the providers’ activities are not targeted towards Member States and the total numbers of users of those services in the Union are limited. For legal and practical reasons, it may not be reasonably possible to have those providers remove or disable access to the material, not even through cooperation with the competent authorities of the third country where they are established.
- All options focused on the objective of ensuring detection, removal and reporting of previously-known and new child sexual abuse material and grooming by relevant online service providers established in the EU and in third countries – insofar as they offer their services in the Union .
- Finally, this section establishes that, to facilitate the monitoring of compliance with this Regulation, the EU Centre may under certain circumstances conduct online searches for child sexual abuse material or notify such material to the providers of hosting services concerned requesting removal or disabling of access, for their voluntary consideration .
- To that aim, the rules and assurances applicable to Coordinating Authorities should be similar to those applicable to courts and tribunals, in order to guarantee that they constitute, and can in all respects act as, independent administrative authorities.
- As mentioned, Member States have started imposing requirements on providers to tackle online child sexual abuse.
A service should be considered comparable where it provides a functional equivalent to the service in question, having regard to all relevant facts and circumstances, in particular its main characteristics and functionalities, the manner in which it is offered and used, the user base, the applicable terms and conditions and risk mitigation measures, as well as the overall remaining risk profile. Furthermore, as parts of those limits and safeguards, detection orders should only be issued after a diligent and objective assessment leading to the finding of a significant risk of the specific service concerned being misused for a given type of online child sexual abuse covered by this Regulation. One of the elements to be taken into account in this regard is the likelihood that the service is used to an appreciable extent, that is, beyond isolated and relatively rare instances, for such abuse. The criteria should vary so as to account of the different characteristics of the various types of online child sexual abuse at stake and of the different characteristics of the services used to engage in such abuse, as well as the related different degree of intrusiveness of the measures to be taken to execute the detection order.
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Persons in good time with all relevant information relating to such orders, including the applicable time period, the fines or periodic payments that may be imposed for failure to comply and redress possibilities. Perform their tasks under this Regulation in an objective, impartial, transparent and timely manner, while fully respecting the fundamental rights of all parties affected. The information for a further specified period, set by that authority or court where and to the extent necessary for ongoing administrative or judicial redress proceedings, as referred to in paragraph 1, point . The users’ right of judicial redress referred to in paragraph 1, their rights to submit complaints to the provider through the mechanism referred to in paragraph 3 and to the Coordinating Authority in accordance with Article 34, as well as their right to submit the requests referred to in paragraph 5.
In this respect, too, a set of limits and safeguards is provided for, ranging from setting clear and standardised rules to ensuring redress and from guaranteeing the issuing authorities’ independence to transparency and effective oversight. The level of the impact on the good functioning of the Digital Single Market for services and on the fight against online child sexual abuse increases progressively in line with the increasing obligations that would be imposed under each option. While an obligation to detect known CSAM would help to reduce the recirculation of known material, such an obligation would have only a limited impact in terms of the goal of preventing abuse and providing assistance to victims of ongoing abuses, given that the material falling within the scope of such an obligation might have been in circulation for years. An obligation to detect both known and new CSAM would allow for the identification and rescue of victims from ongoing abuse and it would do so based on uniform criteria established at EU level, thereby preventing the adoption of divergent national measures on this point. Mandatory detection also of grooming would go further, and provide the greatest scope for preventing imminent abuse and guaranteeing a level playing field on the Digital Single Market for services.
It also requires providers to adopt tailored and proportionate measures to mitigate the risks identified and to report on the outcome of the risk assessment and on the mitigation measures adopted to the Coordinating Authorities designated by the Member States . Finally, it imposes targeted obligations on software application stores to assess whether any application that they intermediate is at risk of being used for the purpose of solicitation and, if this is the case and the risk is significant, take reasonable measures to identify child users and prevent them from accessing it . This situation has led to the adoption of divergent sets of measures to fight online child sexual abuse in different Member States. In the absence of Union action, legal fragmentation can be expected to develop further as Member States introduce additional measures to address the problem at national level, creating barriers to cross-border service provision on the Digital Single Market.
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It will receive the reports from providers, check them to avoid reporting obvious false positives and forward them to Europol as well as to national law enforcement authorities. In turn, a representative from the EU Centre could be part of the management board of Europol, to further ensure effective cooperation and coordination. In this context, providers of hosting or interpersonal communication services (‘providers’) play a particularly important role. Their responsible and diligent behaviour is essential for a safe, predictable and trusted online environment and for the exercise of fundamental rights guaranteed in the Charter. The circulation of images and videos of child sexual abuse, which has increased dramatically with the development of the digital world, perpetuates the harm experienced by victims, while offenders have also found new avenues through these services to access and exploit children. Where the provider that submitted the report is a provider of hosting services and the report concerns the potential dissemination of child sexual abuse material, communicate to the provider that it is not to remove or disable access to the material, specifying the time period during which the provider is not to do so.
The Coordinating Authority of establishment shall then, without undue delay, transmit a copy thereof to all other Coordinating Authorities through the system established in accordance with Article 39. To that end, it may, where appropriate, require the provider to submit the necessary information, additional to the report and the further information referred to in Article 5 and , respectively, within a reasonable time period set by that Coordinating Authority, or request the EU Centre, another public authority or relevant experts or entities to provide the necessary additional information. In accordance with the principle wpf table control of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective. For those reasons, the Coordinating Authority should act as the single contact point with regard to all matters related to the application of this Regulation, without prejudice to the enforcement powers of other national authorities. Interpersonal communications is concerned, service providers should ensure regular, specific and detailed human oversight and human verification of conversations identified by the technologies as involving potential solicitation of children.
The EU Centre should also carry out certain complementary tasks, such as assisting competent national authorities in the performance of their tasks under this Regulation and providing support to victims in connection to the providers’ obligations. It should also use its central position to facilitate cooperation and the exchange of information and expertise, including for the purposes of evidence-based policy-making and prevention. To reduce the number of false positives and prevent erroneous reporting to law enforcement authorities, and to minimise the administrative and financial burden imposed on providers, among other reasons, the proposal creates the EU Centre as an essential facilitator of implementation of the obligations imposed on the providers. Section 5 empowers Coordinating Authorities to request the competent judicial or independent administrative authority to issue an order obliging a provider of internet access services to disable access to uniform resource locators indicating specific items of child sexual abuse material that cannot reasonably be removed at source . Article 18 ensures inter alia that providers that received such a blocking order have a right to challenge it and that users’ redress is ensured as well, including through requests for re-assessment by the Coordinating Authorities.
The EU Centre’s accounting officer shall send the provisional accounts for the financial year to the Commission’s accounting officer and to the Court of Auditors by 1 March of the following financial year (year N + 1). Budgetary commitments for actions relating to large-scale projects extending over more than one financial year may be broken down into several annual instalments. The EU Centre’s expenditure shall include staff remuneration, administrative and infrastructure expenses, and operating costs. Board shall, on the basis of the draft statement of estimates, adopt a provisional draft estimate of the EU Centre’s revenue and expenditure for the following financial year and shall send it to the Commission by 31 January each year. The list of members of the Committee shall be made public and shall be updated by the EU Centre on its website.
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They shall also ensure that, where the diligent assessment indicates that the material does not constitute child sexual abuse material or the solicitation of children, the Coordinating Authority is informed of that outcome and subsequently informs the EU Centre thereof, within the time periods specified in the first subparagraph. Interpersonal communications services in order to allow for improvements in the technologies and processes used and for other appropriate steps, such as reinstating material wrongly removed. As every report could be an important means to investigate and prosecute the child sexual abuse offences concerned and to rescue the victim of the abuse, reports should be processed as quickly as possible.
Therefore, in line with existing practices in several Member States, it should be possible to require providers of internet access services to take reasonable measures to block the access of users in the Union to the material. Such notifying activities should be clearly distinguished from the Coordinating Authorities’ powers under this Regulation to request the issuance of removal orders, which impose on the provider concerned a binding legal obligation to remove or disable access to the material in question within a set time period. In the interest of consistency, efficiency and effectiveness and to minimise the risk of circumvention, such blocking orders should be based on the list of uniform resource locators, leading to specific items of verified child sexual abuse, compiled and provided centrally by the EU Centre on the basis of diligently verified submissions by the relevant authorities of the Member States. In order to avoid the taking of unjustified or disproportionate measures, especially those that would unduly affect the fundamental rights at stake, notably, in addition to the rights of the children, the users’ freedom of expression and information and the providers’ freedom to conduct a business, appropriate limits and safeguards should be provided for. In particular, it should be ensured that the burdens imposed on the providers of internet access services concerned are not unreasonable, that the need for and proportionality of the blocking orders is diligently assessed also after their issuance and that both the providers and the users affected have effective means of judicial as well as non-judicial redress.
With activities for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse offences. To provide its opinion on the draft request, within a time period of four weeks from the date of receiving the draft request. Take the necessary age verification and age assessment measures to reliably identify child users on their services, enabling them to take the measures referred to in point . Coordinating Authorities and the EU Centre should be required to collect, record and analyse information, based on anonymised gathering of non-personal data and to publish annual reports on their activities under this Regulation.
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In light of the technical nature and fast-paced evolution of the technologies used by providers of relevant information society services and to support the EU Centre’s involvement in the monitoring and implementation of this Regulation in this regard, this section establishes a Technology Committee within the EU Centre, composed of technical experts and performing an advisory function . Section 3 includes further provisions on enforcement and penalties, by establishing that Member States of the main establishment of the provider of relevant information society services have jurisdiction to apply and enforce this Regulation . It also ensures that Coordinating Authorities can receive complaints against such providers for alleged breaches of their obligations laid down in this Regulation . In addition, Member States are to lay down rules on penalties applicable to breaches of those obligations . The main differences between the five options relate to the scope of the obligations on providers and the role and form of the EU Centre.
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However, the finding of such a significant risk should in itself be insufficient to justify the issuance of a detection order, given that in such a case the order might lead to disproportionate negative consequences for the rights and legitimate interests of other affected parties, in particular for the exercise of users’ fundamental rights. With a view to avoiding the imposition of excessive burdens, the assessment should also take account of the financial and technological capabilities and size of the provider concerned. The e-Commerce Directive and the DSA prohibit Member States from imposing on providers of intermediary services general obligations to monitor or to actively seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity.
For the purposes of the present Regulation, those providers may draw on such a risk assessment and complement it with a more specific assessment of the risks of use of their services for the purpose of online child sexual abuse, as required by this Regulation. Finally, it lays out the obligation for providers of relevant information society services to establish a single point of contact to facilitate direct communication with the relevant public authorities , as well as the obligation for such providers not established in any Member State, but offering their services in the EU, to designate a legal representative in the EU, so as to facilitate enforcement . This Section also exhaustively lists the purposes for which providers of hosting or interpersonal communication services are to preserve content data and other data processed in connection to the measures taken to comply with this Regulation and the personal data generated through such processing, setting out a series of safeguards and guarantees, including a maximum period of preservation of 12 months . For example, some providers may be subject to a more general obligation to assess systemic risks related to the use of their services under the DSA, and a complementary obligation to perform a specific assessment of risks of child sexual abuse online in the present proposal.
However, the EU Centre shall bear those costs where the provider is a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise, provided the request is reasonably necessary to support the risk assessment. To facilitate such cooperation, the necessary arrangements should be made, including the designation of contact officers by Coordinating Authorities and the conclusion of memoranda of understanding with Europol and, where appropriate, with one or more of the relevant partner organisations. Leading to the specific item or items of child sexual abuse material, or by means of any other representation allowing for the unequivocal identification of the item or items in question. The providers may operate the technologies made available by the EU Centre or by others or technologies that they developed themselves, as long as they meet the requirements of this Regulation. Sections 7 and 8 contain closing provisions on composition and status of the EU Centre’s staff, language arrangements, transparency and communications concerning its activities, measures to combat fraud, contractual and non-contractual liability, possibility for administrative inquires, headquarters agreement and operating conditions, as well as the start of the EU Centre’s activities .
While the holistic approach of the potential Centre and expected improvements regarding legal clarity were welcomed, some industry stakeholders expressed concerns regarding the impact of mandatory detection and reporting of online child sexual abuse. The Commission consulted relevant stakeholders over the course of two years to identify problems and ways forward in the fight against child sexual abuse, both online and become a full stack web developer offline. This was done through surveys, ranging from open public consultations to targeted surveys of law enforcement authorities. Multiple group expert meetings and bilateral meetings were organised between the Commission and relevant stakeholders to discuss the potential impacts of legislation in this area, and the Commission participated in relevant workshops, conferences and events on the rights of the child.
Services that have identified, pursuant to the risk assessment conducted or updated in accordance with Article 3, a risk of use of their services for the purpose of the solicitation of children, shall take the necessary age verification and age assessment measures to reliably identify child users on their services, enabling them to take the mitigation measures. Where the detection order concerns the solicitation of children, in accordance with Article 7, last subparagraph, of the Regulation, the detection order applies only to publicly available interpersonal communications where one of the users is a child user, as defined in Article 2, point , of the Regulation. Accordingly, this proposal sets out to develop and implement an appropriate legal framework, enhance the law enforcement response, and stimulate coordinated multi-stakeholder action on prevention, investigation https://traderevolution.net/ and assistance to victims. The general objective is to improve the functioning of the internal market by introducing harmonised EU rules aimed at better identifying, protecting of and supporting victims of Child Sexual Abuse , ensuring effective prevention and facilitating investigations, notably through a clarification of the role and responsibilities of online service providers when it comes to CSA. And, where relevant, other types of material for the detection of the dissemination of known and new child sexual abuse material and language identifiers for the detection of solicitation of children. Where the Coordinating Authority considers that those two conditions have been met but it cannot further extend the period pursuant to the second subparagraph, it shall submit a new request to the competent judicial authority, as referred to in paragraph 2, point .